Imminent deadline for re-registration and other requirements

Ethiopia

Following publication on December 24 2012 of the Trademark Registration and Protection Council of Ministers Regulation 273/2012 to implement the Trademark Registration and Protection Proclamation 515/2006, it is necessary to re-register all trademarks filed prior to July 7 2006. In addition, trademarks registered between July 7 2006 and December 24 2012 must be regularised under the new law by obtaining a certificate reflecting the seven-year term of protection prescribed by the new law.   

There is conflicting information circulating in the industry regarding the applicable deadlines, and the discrepancies seem to arise from a misunderstanding of the correlation between the Gregorian calendar of 12 months and the Ethiopian calendar of 13 months.

There is an 18-month sunrise period for the re-registration of trademarks registered prior to July 7 2006 following the publication of the regulations. The publication date was December 24 2012, which would result in a deadline for re-registration of June 24 2014. However, in accordance with the local Ethiopian calendar, the deadline will end on June 22 2014. As this is a Sunday, the deadline will be extended to June 23 2014.

In addition, cases registered between July 7 2006 and December 24 2012, and due for renewal (based on a seven-year term) prior to June 23 2014 do not need to be formally amended. The renewal certificate, once issued, will reflect the new law seven-year term.

For trademarks registered between July 7 2006 and December 24 2012, with a renewal date after June 23 2014, a new law certificate should be obtained, amending the previously issued six-year term of protection to the new seven-year term. In these cases, it is recommended that applications for the new law certificates are filed by June 23 2014, despite the possibility that the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office may extend that deadline.

Jennifer Colantoni, Spoor & Fisher, Jersey

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