Most frequent questions and answers about Intellectual Property Protection in Ethiopia

Does my company need IP protections?

It is always important to discuss intellectual property protections with an experienced business lawyer. We can help with copyrights, trademarks, trade names and more to ensure that no one misappropriates your IP, which can result in serious losses.

Do I need to have a company in Ethiopia In order to have my register my Trademark?

No, Companies which have physical address in Ethiopia and , Regardless of wether your companies primary place of registration is in Ethiopia or elsewhere you can register 

Can anybody with a power of Attorney to act on mY behalf register my trademark?

No, according to the EIPO directive 2/2019, only registered trademark agents can apply to the office to process registration and renewal requests. Make sure the person you entrust to protect your intellectual property in Ethiopia is licensed as a trademark agent.

where do You Register my Trademark, Patent and intellectual Properties?

In Ethiopia the authority entrusted with the power to register and renew ownership of intelectual properties is the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office(EIPO). The Office is incharge of administration of rights emanating from copyrights, trademarks, patent, utility models and
industrial designs

What can be registered as a trademark in Ethiopia?

Under Ethiopian Law, Trademark means any visible sign capable of distinguishing goods or services of one person from those of other persons; it includes words, designs, letters, numerals, colors or shape of goods or their packaging or the combination there of. Thus a trademark which consists of sound or smell is ineligible for registration in Ethiopia.

What kind of rights do I get by registeriing my trademark?

Owners of a registered trademark have the right to use or authorize any other person to use the trademark in relation to any goods or services for which it has been registered. They are also considered to have the right to preclude others from any use of a trademark or a sign resembling it in such a way as to be likely to mislead the public.

How long will my protection last once my Intellectual Property Rights are registered?

Trademark registration will remain valid for a period of seven years from the date of submission of the application and can be renewed for consecutive periods of seven years upon request of the owner.

A patent of invention on the other hand is valid for a period of 15 years. But may be extended for a further five years.

What steps does the trademark registration scheme in Ethiopia have? How long does it take?

The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. A trademark search for prior trademarks is highly recommended by the EIPO before the filing of an Ethiopian trademark application. If the application passes all the examination and meets the legal requirements, the mark will be published in an official newspaper for 30 days. In this period, a third party may oppose the published trademark application. In most cases, it takes approximately 4-7 months from first filing to registration.

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