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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mai 16, 2014 (Newsletter Issue 8/14)
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Deadline for Re-Registrations/Other Requirements

As previously reported, following publication of the Regulations on 24 December 2012, it is necessary to re-register all trademarks filed prior to 7 July 2006. In addition, trademarks registered between 7 July 2006 and 24 December 2012 must be regularized under the new law by obtaining a certificate reflecting the 7-year term of protection prescribed by the new law.

There is conflicting information circulating in the industry regarding the applicable deadlines, and the discrepancies seem to arise from a misunderstanding of the correlation between the Gregorian calendar of 12 months and the Ethiopian calendar of 13 months.

Re-registration of trademarks registered prior to 7 July 2006:
There is an 18-month sunrise period for the re-registration of trademarks registered prior to 7 July 2006 following the publication of the Regulations. The publication date was 24 December 2012, which would result in a deadline for re-registration of 24 June 2014. However, in accordance with the local Ethiopian calendar the deadline will end on 22 June 2014. As this is a Sunday, the deadline will be extended to 23 June 2014.

Obtaining an amended new law certificate for trademarks registered 7 July 2006 and 24 December 2012:
Cases registered between 7 July 2006 and 24 December 2012, and due for renewal (based on a 7-year term) prior to 23 June 2014 do not need to be formally amended. The renewal certificate once issued will reflect the new law 7-year term.

For trademarks registered between 7 July 2006 and 24 December 2012, with a renewal date after 23 June 2014, a new law certificate should be obtained, amending the previously issued 6-year term of protection to the new 7-year term. It is recommend that in these cases, applications for the new law certificates are filed by 23 June 2014 despite the possibility that the EIPO may extend that deadline.

Source: Spoor & Fisher Jersey,