Ethiopia implements new trade mark law

On 24 December 2012 a new trade mark law was implemented in Ethiopia. As a result of the new law steps will need to be taken in respect of trade marks that were registered in Ethiopia prior to this date.

Trade marks registered before 7 July 2006

Trade marks that were registered before 7 July 2006 must be re-filed. 

The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office has confirmed that there is an 18 month ‘sunrise period’, starting on 24 December 2012, during which marks registered before 7 July 2006 may be re-registered. 

A deadline of 24 June 2014 exists, by which date Trade Marks that were registered before 7 July 2006 must be re-registered.

Trade mark applications filed after 7 July 2006

Pending trade mark applications that were filed between 7 July 2006 and 24 December 2012 will be dealt with under the new law and so such applications do not need to be re-filed. 

In respect of trade mark applications that were filed after 7 July 2006 and that have already been registered, it will be necessary to apply for a new registration certificate and to pay a fee.

General Points

Under the new law, trade mark applications will be formally examined and subsequently published for opposition purposes. Registered marks will remain in-force for a period of seven years from the application date, and will be renewable for further periods of seven years.

If you require any further information in respect of this matter please contact Wilson Gunn.


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