The Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) is the entity responsible for the protection of industrial property (trademarks, patents, industrial designs) and for managing the Central Trade Register in Morocco. It is placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy. It also is the keeper of the Central Trade Register in which are registered the natural and legal persons carrying out commercial activities in the national territory.
OMPIC also has the following mission :
- Disseminate legal, technical and commercial information to the public,
- Promote a better use of industrial and commercial property
- Improve knowledge and develop skills in the field of intellectual and commercial property through the Moroccan Academy of Industrial and Commercial Property (AMAPIC).
Trademark Vs Domain Name
The trademark universe has been severely impacted over the years by the growth of the Internet, especially through the emergence of domain names around the world.
Thus, registering your trademark as a domain name (and vice versa) avoids any disputes that are growing steadily.
The domain name is thus an essential complement of the Trademark.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a sign that may be represented graphically and serves to distinguish the goods or services of a natural or legal person. It is a sign that allows the consumer to identify the product or service he acquires.
The trademark must be distinctive, lawful and available.
It’s an asset that we can sell, buy and which must be protected. The trademark confers to its holder the exclusive right of use during a 10-year period that is indefinitely renewable.
The trademark may be a name, a combination of colors, a logo, a sound, a slogan, numbers, initials, a nickname, a hologram, a sign … everything concerning the creation or goodwill or commercial asset of a company may be filed. For each change into a logo, a signature, a package a new trademark registration must be done.
How to protect your trademark?
The trademark protection in Morocco is governed by Law No. 17-97, as amended and supplemented by Law No. 31-05 and Law No. 23-13.
The effects of the registration of a trademark being territorial and limited, any natural and legal person wishing to export or expand its business in foreign countries must first protect its trademark in these countries.
- Before Registration :
Prior rights search on the trademark : :
A prior rights search can be performed in the following databases :
– OMPIC : http://www.ompic.org.ma/fr/content/recherche-dans-les-bases-de-donees-ompic
– OMPI : http://www.wipo.int/branddb/fr/
– OHMI : https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/welcome.html?lang=fr
Registration procedure of the trademark :
- at the national level, consult the link : http://www.ompic.ma/fr/content/depot-de-marque-au-maroc
- from abroad, consult the link : http://www.ompic.ma/fr/content/depot-de-marque-linternational
- After the registration of the trademark :
An examination of the absolute grounds for refusal is made under Articles 133, 134, 135 and 136 of Law No. 17-97, as amended and supplemented by Law No. 31-05 and Law No. 23-13 : http://www.ompic.ma/fr/content/lois-et-reglementations
Publication of the application
The trademark application is published in the Official Catalog of Trademarks available on the website of OMPIC : http://www.ompic.ma/fr/content/catalogue-officiel-des-marques
If no opposition is filed within two months of publication, the trademark is registered for a 10-year period, and a certificate of registration of the trademark is issued to the applicant or his representative.
Renewal of the Trademark :
The trademark can be renewed either :
- six months before the expiry date of the registration.
- 6 months after the expiration date of the registration (grace period).
For more information, please consult OMPIC’s website : www.ompic.ma, section trademarks and other signs.