On 7 July 2006, the Trademark Registration and Protection Proclamation was published under decree No. 501/2006; however, the implementing regulations were published and became effective as of 24 January 2013.
We list below the main aspects of the new law.
Trademark Filing Requirements
- Power of attorney duly legalized at the consulate of Ethiopia and,
- Legalised copy of Commercial Register, Business License, or national trademark registration certificate (the latter used to be the only accepted document when filing a trademark application).
Late filing of the above documents can be submitted within 3 months from the filing date without a payment of penalty fee.
Priority now can be claimed within 6 months of filing; a certified copy must be submitted within 3 months from the application date.
The Trademarks Office (TMO) will carry on a formal as well as substantive examination; subsequently the TMO may issue an examination report before the final rejection of application.
Notice of Publication as an Invitation for Opposition
The TMO shall publish a notice of invitation for opposition in the newspaper having nationwide circulation at the cost of the applicant. Any person can oppose against a published trademark.
Oppositions can be filed within 60 days from the date of advertisement.
The registration of a trademark shall remain valid for a period of seven years from the date of the filing the application.
Recognition of Well-known Trademarks
Trademarks that meet the criteria of the well-known trademark scheme can be protected under this law in Ethiopia.
Renewal of Registration
Registration of a trademark can be renewed for a consecutive period of seven (7) years. The frequent notice of every two (2) years in a daily newspaper is no longer required.
Grace period of 6 months is given after expiration incurring a penalty charge of extra 50% of the renewal official fees.
Time required to complete the search is seven (7) days.
Recordal of Assignment Requirements
- Power of attorney duly legalized up to the consulate of Ethiopia;
- Deed of assignment legalized, and
- Legalised copy of Commercial Register or Business License of the licensee.
- Assignments can be filed for pending or registered marks.
- The assignment must be recorded together with the business concerned in the goods in respect of which the said trade mark is respectively registered.
- Co-owned assignments must obtain consent of the other party.
For more information please contact [email protected].