DJIBOUTI – A new Trademark Law was issued in 2009 and published in the Official Gazette late that year. Recently, in March 2012, the government established a Trademark Office belonging to the Chamber of Industry, a manager was appointed, and the infrastructure of the practice and the staff was trained by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

However, the Trademark Office has not been operating and is still waiting for the issuance of the implementing regulations, which are expected later this year.

As we have been informed, the requirements for filing new trademark applications in Djibouti will be as follows:

  • Simply signed power of attorney.
  • Particulars of the mark.
  • Applicant name and address.
  • If priority is claimed, then certified copy of the priority document.

General information:

  • Classification of Goods / Services: International Classification Nice 10th Edition.
  • Claiming priority under Paris Convention: No
  • Filing international registration under Madrid Agreement: No.
  • Filing international registration under protocol to Madrid Agreement: No.
  • Time from filing to registration: 3 months.
  • Registration duration: 10 years from filing date.
  • Renewal duration: 10 years.
  • Publication: In the Official Gazette.
  • Opposition period: 1 month.

It is worth mentioning, that as per pervious practice, in order to protect a trademark, an application is filed at the court of first instance, and a letter issued to serve as a certificate of ownership, no examination was made.

Moreover, details of the old applications filed under the previous system will be migrated to the new system, and protection will be valid on those applications under the new system until the original expiration date is due.

Our Djibouti office manager attended a meeting with the head of the Trademark Office and discussed various strategies regarding the new system, mainly the high official fees intended to be imposed. According to the new law, it is expected that the official fees will increase by 10 times more than the current fees.

Having said that, we recommend to our clients who have new applications to begin now (under the old system) in order to avoid paying the new rate.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.