Transfer of Trademark Rights in Ethiopia: A Guide to the Process

Trademarks play a crucial role in protecting a business’s identity and reputation, and the transfer of these rights can be a complex process. In Ethiopia, the transfer of rights on a registered trademark or an application for registration of a trademark is regulated by the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the steps involved in the transfer of trademark rights in Ethiopia.

(1) A right on a registered trademark or an application for registration of a trademark in Ethiopia may be assigned or licensed in whole or in part. This means that the owner of a trademark can transfer all or some of their rights to another person, either permanently or temporarily.

(2) A request for transfer of rights on a registered trademark or an application for registration of a trademark in Ethiopia must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks. The application must be accompanied by the agreement of transfer of right, which outlines the terms and conditions of the transfer.

(3) If a trademark is subject to co-ownership in Ethiopia, shares in the trademark may not be transferred without the consent of all the co-owners. This means that all parties who hold rights in the trademark must agree to the transfer before it can take place.

(4) The right to a trademark in Ethiopia can be transferred in or without connection with the business in which it is used. For example, if a business is sold, the right to the trademark attached to the business will typically pass to the new owner, unless otherwise agreed.

(5) The Office of the Registrar of Trademarks in Ethiopia may refuse to effect the transfer of a trademark separately from the business if it finds that use of the trademark by the new owner may mislead the public. This is to ensure that the transfer of the trademark does not negatively impact the public’s perception of the product or service associated with the trademark.

(6) After examining the request for the transfer of right, the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks in Ethiopia, upon payment of the fee prescribed by the Regulations, will register and cause publication of the transfer. This means that the transfer will be recorded in the trademark registry and made publicly available, so that others are aware of the change in ownership of the trademark.

It is advisable to seek the assistance of legal professionals when transferring trademark rights, as they can ensure that the process is carried out smoothly and legally. They can also advise on any potential risks and provide guidance on how to protect your trademark rights in the future.

In conclusion, the transfer of trademark rights in Ethiopia requires a well-structured process, with the submission of a written request and the agreement of transfer of right to the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks. It’s important to consider all relevant factors, such as co-ownership, the connection with the business, and the potential impact on the public, before transferring trademark rights. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and successful transfer of trademark rights in Ethiopia.