Everything you need to know to apply for a Trade Mark in Somalia

Pursuant to the provisions of the Somali Trade Mark Law No. 3 of 22 January 1955, and its amendment by Law No. 33 of 18 January 1975, the Somali Trademark Office (TMO) has recently introduced examination and publication processes on trademark registrations.

Thus, the application for the registration of trade marks has resumed in Somalia, albeit with challenges. Please note that the Ministry is accepting single class trade mark applications. The Registry has issued requirements for applications for registration as well as the process of registration for both Foreign and Domestics trade marks. The requirements and process are detailed below:

What is the Procedure for Applying for a Trade Mark in Somalia

  • Step 1: A search must be conducted in order to determine whether the trade mark exists on the register
  • Step 2: A Trade Mark application can be filed upon payment of application fees. The trade mark application should contain the following;
    • the mark proposed to be used;
    • the class of goods or services;
    • the name, address and the signature of applicant;
    • and If the applicant is a foreign company, a Power of Attorney.
  • Step 3: The application is then examined to determine its inherent registrability and conflict with prior existing registrations applications.
  • Step 4: If accepted, the application will be advertised in the local Gazette i IP website for 35 days.
  • Step 5: If there is no opposition after the expiration of 45 days of the advertisement, the Registrar shall upon payment of the prescribed fee by the applicant enter the Trademark in the register and issue a Certificate of registration.

How long is the trade mark registration valid for?

A trade mark is valid for Ten years (10) years from the filing date of the application and may be renewed indefinitely for successive.

Who may apply for a trade mark?

A person or corporation who is the owner of the mark used, or proposed to be used, by him/her in Somalia, may make an application for the registration of a mark in Somalia.

Can I appoint an agent to apply on my behalf?

Applications may be made either by the Owners of Marks or by Agents in the names of or on behalf of the owners.  A Power of Attorney will be required in this regard.

Documents required

  • Representation of the trade mark;
  • Specification of goods;
  • Name and address of the proprietor;
  • A copy of a simply signed Power of Attorney form
  • A copy of the business registration certificate of the applicant;
  • A copy of the passport of the Managing Director of the applicant;
  • A copy of the trade mark registration certificate of the trade mark in the applicant’s country of origin or a foreign country; and
  • Company profile (summary of the company’s business activities and jurisdictions of operations should suffice).

Our offices have been advised that there are many challenges in the trade mark registration process. Some of the challenges are that applications are sometimes advertised for opposition on the Ministry’s website before the allocation of a filing date or application number. In addition, the officials have been requesting additional documentation/information after the filing of an application.

Thus, the process is not as straightforward as directed by the Registrar. More updates to follow.

Udi Pillay
Senior Associate | Attorney
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