Morocco recently announced an increase in the official fees for all intellectual property matters, including trademarks, patents, and industrial designs. The increase also applies to examination and the annuity maintenance fees for patents and utility models. The new rates will enter into force on October 1, 2017.

By way of background, Morocco has a relatively comprehensive regulatory and legislative system for the protection of intellectual property. Morocco issued Law no. 23-13 in December 2014, which amended and completed Law no. 17-97 of 2000. The new law entered into force on the date of announcement and publication in the official gazette. The law includes provisions on the protection of patents, integrated circuits, industrial designs, trademarks, and trade names.

Furthermore, in 2015, the authorities concerned voted into law the agreement between the Moroccan Patent Office and the European Patent Office. This decision effectively simplified the patenting system in Morocco. All European applications filed on or after March 1, 2015, can designate Morocco at the time of requesting examination. Upon grant of the European patent, the same can be validated in Morocco. Since Morocco is not a European Patent Convention state, the local patent law governs matters relating to infringement, validity, supplementary protection certificates and such.

We expect further developments in Morocco, as it remains a country with high aspirations that welcomes foreign investments. A healthy balance between the latter and local development is bound to be beneficial for the country’s own growth.

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