Industrial property in Albania has its beginnings as early as 1920. From the archival sources of the time, we learn that Albanian traders have been sensitive to the preservation of their products by counterfeiters. To achieve this, they sought protection for their products through trademark registration. The first trademark certificate dates back to April 16, 1920, issued for the "HOBDARI" trademark.
This brand was used for the products of the "Hobdari" company which established the soap factory, in the early 1914. In this period a large number of foreign trademarks have been protected in Albania. Trademark registration was in force until 1944. In 1957, the government of that time, through its decision, recognized the registration of foreign trademarks in the Republic of Albania.
At this time, it was the Trademark Registration Bureau at the Chamber of Commerce, under the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the institution responsible for trademark registration. This Bureau completed the relevant documentation following the legal provisions in force “Decree no. 2490 dated 22.07.1957, amended by decrees no. 3530 dated 02.07.1962 of No. 4253 dated 11.04.1967 "On Production and Trade Marks".
This decree also provided for the criteria for the registration of production trademarks by state-owned enterprises. Regarding patents for inventions, in the Republic of Albania, it was not issued any Albanian patent for inventions, as a physical document issued following the standards (laws) operated in other countries or by specialized international organizations in this field. Law no. 3029, dated 12.01.1960, gave the inventor the right to use his invention exclusively.
Through Decree no. 4548, dated 3.10.1960, the above Law was repealed. According to this Decree, the inventor was recognized only the evidence of the invention, but not the exclusive right to use it, which would already pass to the state. This led to the cessation of foreign patent registration in Albania. Through Decree no. 7316, dated 20.7.1989, of the Civil Code of the Republic of Albania, Article 333A was added, which provided for the possibility of registration and protection of patents for inventions of foreign nationals in the country and until 1994 the regulation of the activity in this field (concerning only the registration of foreign patents for inventions) was done based on the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 393, dated 17.11.1990 “On the method of registration of patents for inventions carried out outside the territory of the Republic of Albania” which represented in itself simply a sub-legal act.
The lack of legislation on patents for inventions or more broadly on the industrial property was a fundamental obstacle to the development of the industrial property system in the country. Likewise, in the Republic of Albania, there was a lack of publications and texts on industrial property and qualified staff was needed to set up the industrial property office in the country, therefore membership in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was deemed necessary, as well as its support and technical assistance.
In these conditions, starting from the developments of the time, when our country would enter the path of the market economy, by participating in the meeting "Task Force Meeting in the framework of the UNDP Regional Program for the Fifth Cycle (1992 - 1996)", 30 Sept. - 4 Oct. 1991, Celakovice, Czechoslovakia, representatives of the Science and Technology Committee, presented the need for emergency assistance to the Republic of Albania through a UNDP project for the establishment of institutions in the field of industrial property.
In this meeting, the first contacts with the representatives of WIPO were established and the latter was committed to immediately start the proposed project for our country. After this meeting, PhD Engineer Fatos Dega, Director of the Committee on Science and Technology, conducted the study "On the status of the industrial property system in Albania and some of its development problems in the future", dated 13/02/1992. The study served as a supporting material for the Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Prof. PhD. Petrit Skënde, physicist, during the visit to the headquarters of WIPO in Geneva and his meeting with Mr Arpad Bogsch, Director General of WIPO in February 1992.
The proposal and the material submitted by the Albanian delegation were received with great enthusiasm by WIPO which immediately started its work to prepare the legal basis for the establishment of the Albanian Patent Office and the membership of the Republic of Albania in WIPO, to enable support from this organization for the establishment of the industrial property system. The filing, by the Albanian Government, of the instrument of Albania's accession to the "Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization", was made in March 1992, which entered into force on 30.06.1992. From this date, the Republic of Albania became a full member country of WIPO.
Thus, on March 22, 1993, with the decision of the Council of Ministers for the establishment of the Patent Office for Inventions, on the proposal of the Science and Technology Committee, the "Patent Office for Inventions" was established, which was set up and functioned for many years near this committee.
With further developments, it was reached the accession to the Paris Convention "On the protection of Industrial Property", adopted in Paris on March 20, 1883, entered into force in the Republic of Albania, on October 4, 1995, which was one of the first treaties in the world on industrial property, that creates a union of rules and principles for the treatment of industrial property by member states and continued to adhere to the majority part of other international agreements on international protection of trademarks, industrial designs, and patents for inventions. The administrative and institutional capacities of the Office were gradually improved.
In 2000, the Office was renamed the "Directorate of Patents and Trademarks" and its activity as a central public institution was subordinated to the Council of Ministers, based on the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 313 dated 13.06.2000, "On the Functioning of the Directorate of Patents and Trademarks". Through law no. 9525 dated 25.04.2006, the Directorate of Patents and Trademarks became a public institution under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy.
Its activity was defined and regulated by the Law "On Industrial Property" and regulations on objects of industrial property. Through Law no. 9947 dated 07.07.2008 "On Industrial Property" as amended, it was renamed as "General Directorate of Patents and Trademarks" which was a public institution, under the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship. On May 1, 2010, the Republic of Albania acceded to the "Convention on European Patents" and is already a member state of the European Patent Organization.
It is worth mentioning that the cooperation of GDIP with the European Patent Office (EPO) dates back to 1995 when Albania signed the agreement for the extension of European Patents in our country. With the amendments to Law no. 9947 dated 07.07.2008 "On Industrial Property", as amended, on March 25, 2017, this institution enters an advanced phase of its reform by modernizing the protection system of industrial property objects in the Republic of Albania, with standards equal to those of the European Union. “Për Pronësinë Industriale”, i ndryshuar, në 25 Mars të vitit 2017 ky institucion, hyn në një fazë të avancuar të reformimit të tij duke modernizuar sistemin e mbrojtjes së objekteve të pronësisë industriale në Republikën e Shqipërisë, me standarde të njëjta me ato të Bashkimit Evropian.
Currently, the institution holds the name "General Directorate of Industrial Property", a name intended to include its activity for the registration of all objects of industrial property and operates as an autonomous agency under the supervision of the minister responsible for the economy.