Pursuant to the Implementing Regulations issued in 2014 of the Ethiopian Trademark Law of 2006, the Trademark Office is expected to introduce in the near future a new procedure for the renewal of trademarks, which would entail the publication of renewal notices in the local newspapers. At present, renewal publications are not required. A lot of questions remain unanswered at this stage. It is not known when this procedure is going to be introduced, and whether or not it will apply on pending renewal applications. Needless to say, we should expect an increase in renewal fees with this revised practice.

A few major highlights of high profile events in Ethiopia have taken place over the past few years that are indicative of the country’s drive and motivation to develop its trademark system. In addition to the 2014 introduction of a re-registration time table for marks filed in the country before July 7, 2006, the TMO also notified all owners of registered trademarks filed after July 7, 2006 to request for new registration certificates with a protection period of seven years instead of six.

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