The Somali Democratic Republic (also known as Somalia) lies on the east coast of Africa, in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the north-west, and Kenya to the south. Somalia has a long coast line on the Indian Ocean, extending to the Gulf of Aden to the north.


Area: 637 657 km2

Population: 14,317,996

Capital: Mogadishu

Currency: Somali Shilling

GDP: $5.8 billion (2014)

Internet domain:  .so

Languages: Somali, Arabic (official languages)

Working week: Tuesday – Saturday

Exports: Livestock; bananas; hides; fish; charcoal; scrap material

Imports: Foodstuffs; manufactures; petroleum products; construction materials

  • Trade Marks

    Somalia is not a member of the Paris Convention. Even though Somalia is a member of the Lusaka Agreement (on ARIPO) and has apparently acceded to but not ratified the Banjul Protocol of ARIPO, no implementing legislation has been passed.

    Prior to 1991, the 1955 Ordinance applied in Somalia. Following the overthrow of the government in 1991, Somalia has been without a stable central government and it has become virtually impossible to file new trade mark or patent applications in Somalia, or to maintain existing applications/ registrations in Somalia.

    Even at the time of writing, it has been difficult to obtain reliable and up-to-date information. The commentary given below is based on the information available at the time of writing.

  • Patents

    Somalia is not a member of the Paris Convention.

    Somalia is a member of ARIPO, as it is a party to the Lusaka Agreement on the creation of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organsation (ARIPO). However, Somalia has not yet acceded to the Harare Protocol which regulates the filing of patents and designs in ARIPO. Accordingly, Somalia cannot be designated in an ARIPO patent or design application.

  • Designs

  • Copyright

    Somalia is not a member of the Berne Convention.

  • Plant Breeders' Rights

    No legislation in force.