Are you a trademark owner, trademark agent, Trademark Lawyer … etc, that has trademark registration related interest in Ethiopia? If so, we assume you should read this.  

In Ethiopia Trademark registration process is undergoing a fundamental revision process. As part of this process a New Trademark Regulations is published in Ethiopia on 24 December 2012, followed by the issuance of detailed directive by the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office.

According to this new law, owners of Trademarks that are already registered in Ethiopia will mandatorily be required to file new applications within 18 months of the publication date, which is by no means no later than June 24, 2014. These new applications will not be registered automatically but will be subject to examination on absolute and relative grounds.


Generally the salient features of the new Trademark Law are listed below

1.       Priority Claim

Claim of priority, based upon an earlier-filed foreign application, is possible. Here applicants who have registered their marks prior to the coming of the 2006 proclamation will enjoy the priority right to register their marks earlier than others.

The priority of countries adopting the Paris Convention will be recognized.

The Ethiopian government encourages and works on the expansion of investment. But this doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t regulate the investments. Accordingly, the administration of investments by domestic and foreign investors is regulated by the Ethiopian Investment Agency. The law that addresses issues concerning investments in Ethiopia is proclamation number 769/2012 (known as a Proclamation on Investment). 

Investment Objectives and Areas of Investment

In general investment is highly encouraged in Ethiopia with government, keeping in mind, of improving the living standards of the people of Ethiopia through the realization of sustainable economic and social development.

These include

  1. Accelerating  the country’s economic development;
  2. Exploiting  and develop the immense natural resources of the country;
  3. Developing the domestic market through the growth of production, productivity and services;
  4. Increasing foreign exchange earnings by encouraging expansion in volume, variety and quality of the country’s export products and services as well as to save foreign exchange through production of import substituting products locally;
  5. Encouraging balanced development and integrated economic activity among the Regions and to strengthen the inter-sect oral linkages of the economy;
  6. Enhancing the role of the private sector in the acceleration of the country’s economic development;
  7. Enabling foreign investment play its role in the country’s economic development;
  8. Creating ample employment opportunities for Ethiopians and to advance the transfer of technology required for the development of the country.

Are you an investor interested to invest in Ethiopia? Do you want to know aboutForeign Investment Incentives and its conditions listed under Ethiopian Law? Below you find one of them.

 An investor who invests to establish a new enterprise in Ethiopia is entitled to income tax exemption. However, such incentives do not apply for all cases. Below one finds the conditions put for such entitlement.

Income tax exemptions based on areas of investment

A foreign investor who engages in investment in the state of Gambela, Benishangul/Gumuz, Afar except in areas within 15 km right and left of the Awash river, Somali, Guji and Borena zones of the state of Oromia, south Omo zone, Kaffa zone, Sheka, Segen, Bench Maji, Sheka, Dawaro, is entitled to an Income Tax Deduction of 30% for three consecutive years. The income tax exemption period varies from one sector of investment to another.

Have you wondered about executing your Foreign Debt Recovery Judgments and awards in Ethiopia?Provided it fulfills the following requirements it is possible.

According to Ethiopian legal system, debt collection and recovery is a legitimate and necessary business activity where creditors and collectors are able to take reasonable steps to secure payment from consumers or businesses that are legally bound to pay or to repay money they owe.

But a question is bound to arise when the court that rendered the decision to recover a debt for a party is located outside the area where this judgment could be executed. Here the issue of execution of foreign judgment will come up.

In many foreign countries the recognition and enforcement of debt recovery foreign judgments/awards is governed by local domestic law and the principles of comity, reciprocity and res Judicata (that is, that the issues in question have been decided already.)

The general principle of international law applicable in such cases is that a foreign state claims and exercises the right to examine judgments for four causes:

  1. 1.      To determine if the court had jurisdiction;
  2. 2.      To determine whether the defendant was properly served;
  3. 3.      To determine if the proceedings were vitiated by fraud; and
  4. 4.      To establish that the judgment is not contrary to the public policy of the foreign country.