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Country Flash: IP Protection in Djibouti

December 31, 2013

With a small area of 23,200 km2, and a population of over 775,000 inhabitants, Djibouti lies in North Africa. It borders Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. It is mainly a desert. This small in size country is big in ambitions. It experienced a stable economic growth during the last few years. From 2003 to 2005, the annual GDP growth averaged 3.1 % due to good performance in the services sector. Inflation has been kept low.

Protection of Trademarks

Djibouti adopts the 8th edition of the Nice International Classification. Trademarks are registered for a period of 10 years from filing date, renewable for live periods. There is a grace period of six months. A single application can include several classes. It is worth noting that there are provisions for the registration of collective marks and certification marks. Examination on relative grounds is not performed. The process of filing a trademark in Djibouti is summarized in the following flow chart.

Protection of Patents and Industrial Designs

Based on the regulations implementing Industrial Property Law no. 50/AN/09/6ème which came into force in Djibouti on November 25, 2011, Decree No. 2011-079, it is now possible to file patents and industrial designs applications.

The main features of the Patents and Industrial Designs protection framework are as follows:
· Patents may be granted with respect to both products and processes, as well as new applications or combinations of known means to arrive at new results.
· Inventions must satisfy the criteria of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.
· Exclusions from patentability include, methods of diagnosis, therapy and surgery for the treatment of persons or animals.
· Patents will be granted for 20 years from filing date.
· Maintenance fees are payable for consecutive periods of 5 years from the date of filing. There is a grace period of six months.
· A single industrial design application may contain up to 100 models or designs, as long as these are intended to be incorporated in objects grouped in the same class of the Locarno classification system.
· Industrial designs will be registered for an initial period of 5 years from the filing date, renewable for a further two consecutive periods of 5 years upon the payment of renewal fees. There is a grace period of six months.

Should you have any questions, or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@sabaip.com.