If you are a trader wishing to register a trademark in Ethiopia you must be familiar with the registration process involved within. So how is a trademark registered? What is expected of you? What can you expect in the proceedings? Here is an introduction.
Trademarks and their subsequent rights are conferred upon the trader upon the registration of the trademark and its certification which is initiated when a trader approaches the office for such registration and certification. The approval and certification of a trade mark, in general, involves six steps:
- 1. Application for registration to be put in by the trader
- 2. Examination of application
- 3. Publication of notice of invitation for opposition
- 4. Opposition
- 5. Registration of trademarks and issuance of certification
- 6. Notification of registration
- 7. Appeal against registration.
A written application for the registration of a trademark is made by the trader and is filed in the intellectual property office. It shall be accompanied by three copies of the proposed trademark, a document stating the good’s purpose and in which class, according to international classification of goods and services, the good belongs to, a document certifying payment of the fee that accompanies the application and where the application is filed through an agent, proof of agency and authenticated power of attorney as well. A foreigner making this application shall appoint an agent who is domiciled in Ethiopia.
The office shall, upon receipt of the application examine it for form and content. If the application is found insufficient, it shall give the applicant notice and provide with sufficient time to remedy the defect. But if the defect is fundamental or if, in the period of time granted to him, the applicant does not take the appropriate steps the office will reject his application and inform the applicant the decision in writing.
Where the application proves sufficient under examination, the office will publish and broadcast, through the press and media, a notice inviting opposition to the grant of the trademark at the cost of the applicant. An opposing party shall, within the prescribed time limit and in writing, present his issues to the office which shall relay such to the applicant. A counter report shall be expected of the applicant, the absence of which means that he has abandoned his application. The office shall furnish copies of the counter opposition to the party making the opposition and arrive at a decision within a prescribed period of time. It shall give copies of its decisions to the parties concerned.
Where the request for the registration of a trademark is found to have fulfilled its conditions as to substance and form and where it has not been opposed to or an opposition filed has been rejected, the office shall register the trademark and, upon the requisite payment, issue the applicant a certificate of registration conferring him rights over such trademark.
From the time an application is made known to the public (since a notice is published inviting opposition on the application) until the grant of a trademark, the applicant enjoys the legal protection that he would get, if he had been granted a trademark. The only exception to this rule is legal infringement. A trader may not initiate proceedings for legal infringement unless his trademark has been registered and certified.
After a trademark has been appropriated appeal to such may be filed to the relevant court within 60 days from the issue.
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Any pertinent information about trade mark registration and protection can be available from any Ethiopian Lawyer, Ethiopian Trade mark Lawyer, Ethiopian Copyright Lawyer or Ethiopian Intellectual Property Lawyer.