New Trademark Law – Ethiopia

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Owners of Trade Marks that are already registered in Ethiopia will be required to file new applications no later than 24 June 2014. The Trade Mark Registration and Protection Proclamation was published in Ethiopia in 2006 but the implementing regulations only became effective from 24 January 2013.

This means that all owners of Trade Marks in Ethiopia will be required to file new applications no later than 24 June 2014. All new applications will not be registered automatically and will be subject to examination on absolute and relative grounds. Ethiopia is not a member of the Madrid System, ARIPO or OAPI. Ethiopia Trade Mark filing requirements include power of attorney duly legalized at the consulate of Ethiopia and a copy of your business license or national trade mark registration certificate. Late filing of these documents may 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. The Trade Marks Office shall publish a notice of invitation in the newspaper having nationwide circulation at the cost of the applicant. Any person can oppose against a published trade mark.

Registered trade marks in Ethiopia shall remain valid for a period of 7 years from the date of filing and the application may be renewed as often as desired. A grace period of 6 months is given after expiration incurring a penalty charge of extra 50% of the renewal official fees. Trade marks that meet the criteria of the well-known trademark scheme can now be protected under this law in Ethiopia. The new Trade Mark law in Ethiopia imposes increased fees for trade mark registrations, trade mark renewals, other trade mark procedures, industrial designs, utility models, and patents.