As of 18 December 2004, the new IP law No 17-97 will be in force, as it was approved by the Parliament. The new Law has brought the following changes:
- A Patent is valid for 20 years and annuities are to be paid every year, even if it is not granted, with a grace period of 6 months available.
- One patent application will cover both jurisdictions Casablanca and Tangier.
- Integrated circuits are protected for 10 years as of the filing date.
- The protection of invention of employees.
- Pharmaceutical compositions, pharmaceutical products and remedies are protected.
- Documents are to be filed within 3 months.
- Patent may be subject to seizure in pawn.
- Licensing is compulsory if not used or worked out within a period of three years as of grant, or four years as of filing.
- Patents related to security or public health may be subject to “automatic” licensing.
- One application will cover the 2 zones Casablanca and Tangier.
- Duration became 10 years instead of 20.
- Grace period of 6 months is given for renewals.
- Non-use of the mark for 5 years will result in the cancellation of it.
- Collective and service marks are registrable.
All prior rights of this law will remain in force.
All applications filed before the new law, i.e. until 18 December 2004, will be processed according to the old law.
Old registrations will remain valid in both jurisdictions until the end of the protection period, and then the new applications should be filed according to the new law.
It is recommended to file a renewal application as soon as possible, before the new becomes effective, in order to extend the protection to 20 years.