As you may know, on 7 July 2006, the Trademark Registration and Protection Proclamation were issued under Decree No. 501/2006; however, the implementing regulations were published and became effective on 24 January 2013.
Now, and according to the implementing regulations, the Ethiopian Trademark Office (ETMO) has decided that the old registrations are to be divided into 2 categories:
(A) Trademarks filed and registered before 7 July 2006 (i.e. enactment of the new proclamation)
These trademarks are considered as un-registered, therefore, they are required to be re-registered by filing new applications, passing through formal and substantive examination, and then published for a 60-day opposition period before issuing the certificate of registration.
However, if the examiner finds the trademark inadmissible for registration, the examiner will send off the notification to reply to within 90 days.
(B) Trademarks filed and registered after the enactment proclamation (i.e. after 7 July 2006)
These trademarks, in principle, are considered as trademarks registered by law, so applicants are not required to pay application fees. However, the former registration requires minor amendments like the protection period and incorporation of additional information into the certificate of registration. Accordingly, applicants are required to pay registration fees and receive new certificates of registration.
In the meantime, the ETMO by its own initiative may cancel trademarks that have basic defects and were registered erroneously. This is done by the power given to the ETMO under article 36 of the proclamation. Like in the former case, the office will notify the applicant of the grounds of invalidation of the trademark.
The ETMO has set up a time frame for re-registering the cancelled trademarks starting 24 March 2013; however, it is not obligatory while by law 18 months are given to do so, i.e., 24 June 2014.
The final revised filing requirements are:
- Power of attorney legalised;
- Certified copy of Business License of applicant legalised, and
- Certified copy of priority document if claimed.
Please note that all documents must be submitted along with the application.
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