Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2020

Publication Citation

27 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 269 (2020)


In 2016, Afghanistan formally acceded to the World Trade

Organization (WTO) to improve its worldwide trading prospects.

However, this journey began much earlier. To join the WTO, one of

Afghanistan's commitments was to reform its then-existing trademark

laws. Intellectual property (IP)-related laws are, in general, one of the

fields that countries must reform prior to joining the WTO, so as to be in

accordance with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual

Property Rights (TRIPS). While Afghanistan has enacted some IPrelated

statutes, including the 2009 Law on Trade Marks Registration,

it continues to fall short of conforming to TRIPS because it is silent on

licensing trademarks, and is ambiguous on both trademark validity and

use requirements. Consequently, these kinds of deficiencies will create

opportunities to misuse a legal loophole, perpetuate corruption, and

discourage foreign investment in Afghanistan. This paper suggests that

the Afghan government should fix the deficiencies in TRIPS by

modeling the Turkey Industrial Code and the Law of the Republic of

Indonesia on Marks, in order to decrease corruption and increase trust

by foreign investors. The first part of this paper will briefly introduce

the structure of the WTO, then cover the process of Afghanistan's

accession to the WTO. The second part will introduce both the old and

new Law on Trade Marks Registration of Afghanistan as well as TRIPS.

The final part will show the deficiencies of the Afghan statute in

relation to TRIPS, the consequences of those deficiencies, and the

possible solutions and recommendations for this problem.

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