The long awaited implementing Regulations needed to give effect to the 2006 Trademark Registration and Protection Proclamation in Ethiopia have at last been published. The publication of the Regulations brings into force a new, orthodox, trade mark regime for the registration and enforcement of trade mark rights. The protection term is seven years; repeatedly renewable.

There are still a number of unknown factors, including the term for re-filing trade mark "registrations" obtained under the former regime, and we await the issuance of practice directives from the Director-General of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office. In the meantime we see no reason to delay the filing of completely new trade mark applications and we recommend that applications are filed as soon as possible so that trade mark owners can secure the earliest possible filing date.

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