A trademark application has to be filed before the Ethiopian Intellectual Property office by a local agent. A legalized Power of Attorney certified and notarized by the Ethiopian Consular is necessary. Foreign applicants do need a domestic registration. Multi-class trademark application is allowed.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. A trademark search for prior trademarks is highly recommended by the Ethiopian authority, before the filing of an Ethiopian trademark application. If the application passes all the examination and meets the (possible) extra requirements in office actions, the mark will be published in the Intellectual Property Gazette or (depending on the authority request) it will be published in an official news paper for 30 days. In this period, the so called opposition period, a third party may oppose the published Ethiopian trademark application. In a straight forward case, it takes approximately 6-8 months from first filing to registration.
A trademark registration in Ethiopia is valid for 7 years from the filing date. The registration is renewable for periods of 7 years.
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Trademark Portfolio management
Handling Trademark refusals
Handling Trademark oppositions