Trademark registration Djibouti
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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Djibouti?
The costs of trademark registration in Djibouti depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.
- Includes all fees
- extra class
- Includes all fees
- up to 3 classes
- Includes all fees
- extra class
How do you get a trademark registration in Djibouti?
Trademark registration in Djibouti is on a ‘first-to-file’ basis. It means that trademark registration in Djibouti is mandatory for obtaining the trademark rights. An unregistered trademark has no protection. Only in a few cases is an exception made. Therefore, trademark registration in Djibouti is highly advisable. An unregistered trademark has no rights and this can lead to unpleasant (commercial) consequences as soon as someone else registers the trademark.
What is the First-to-file principle?
The first-to-file principle means that you must be the first to obtain the exclusive rights to a brand name. In addition to Djibouti, this jurisdiction also applies in the Benelux, for example. The trademark application in Djibouti goes through the Office of Industrial Property and Commerce (ODPIC). A registered trademark is only valid in Djibouti itself.
How long does a trademark application take in Djibouti?
After receiving the trademark application, ODPIC carries out a careful investigation. When this is completed, the application will be published in the state newspaper. From the date of publication, third parties have one month to object to the trademark application. In the most favorable case, it takes about four to eight months until there is a definitive answer. Complications can take months longer. Objection from third parties can lead to lengthy and expensive opposition proceedings.
How long is a trademark valid in Djibouti?
A registered trademark in Djibouti is valid for ten years. The validity runs from the application date. The trademark is renewable for periods of ten years. Trademarks in Djibouti are renewable six months before the expiration date. After the expiry date, there is still a grace period of six months in which the trademark can also be renewed.
What are the consequences if you don't use the mark?
When applying for trademark registration in Djibouti, the trademark does not necessarily have to be in use. After registration, non-use does not pose a risk for the first five years either. After that, yes, because third parties are given the opportunity to have the registration deleted from the registers of Djibouti on the basis of non-use.
How does brand recognition work?
A trademark is the identification and recognition of products and services. Consumers recognize products and services on the basis of a brand. When they see the brand, the consumer is immediately aware of which product or service he is dealing with. That is why a trademark must always be distinctive. But without an official registration, the trademark has no protection and rights. As described in the intro, this can have unpleasant consequences.
When can you use the r symbol?
A registered trademark in Djibouti also entitles you to use the r symbol. This internationally valid symbol shows that a brand is officially registered. The r symbol radiates professionalism and recognition. The use of the r symbol is only allowed for registered trademarks. It is punishable by law for unregistered trademarks.
What are the requirements for an application?
A trademark application in Djibouti must in any case be filed in the French language with the help of a local trademark agent. A signed power of attorney is also required. In addition, the ODPIC asks for the following matters, among other things:
- Complete name and address details of person and company
- An example of the brand you want to register
- Detailed description of product(s) and/or service(s)
- Classification of product(s) and/or service(s) according to Nice system
Classification according to the Nice system
The classification is based on the Nice system (NCL). The NCL is the standard for classification in most countries. The NCL is divided into 45 classes. Products fall under the first 34, services under the other 11. For the exact distribution, consult the official documentation of the classification system. When determining the right classes, it helps to ask the following questions: What products does your company sell or what services are provided? And what exactly is the brand going to promote?
Different trademark types
Djibouti offers three types of trademark registration. The country distinguishes between the word mark, the figurative mark and the combined trademark. The word mark is only formed by alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers). The logo contains graphic elements and no alphanumeric characters. The combined trademark is a mix between word and image elements.
Combined trademark has a caveat
There is a caveat to the combined trademark. Use of the combined trademark is limited to its exact registration. This means that image and word elements when used separately have no protection and no rights rest on them. If you do want this, separate registration of the element is the only solution.
Is Djibouti part of the Madrid Treaty?
Many countries are members of the Madrid Protocol, which simplifies international registrations. However, Djibouti is not a member state. So if your trademark is already registered in another Madrid member state, it is not possible to use the protocol for trademark registration in Djibouti. It is also good to know that the African country is not affiliated with the OAPI, the organization that represents several French-speaking countries in Africa and where trademark registration also applies in all member states.