New Industrial Property Law in Djibouti

Although it has been possible to file trade mark and design applications in Djibouti, patent owners were not able to obtain patent rights as there was no patent legislation in Djibouti.

Following the recent enactment of Industrial Property Law No. 050/AN/09, and the establishment of an Industrial Property Office (ODPIC), with effect from 9 June 2012 it is now possible to file patent applications in Djibouti. The new Law provides for patents, industrial designs, trade marks and service marks, trade names, geographical indications, integrated circuit designs, and measures against unfair competition. French is the official working language.

International Relationships

Djibouti has been a member of the Paris Union and WIPO from 12 May 2002. Djibouti does not subscribe to the Madrid arrangements for international trade mark registration, nor to the PCT.

It was for some time believed that Djibouti had become a member of OAPI and that OAPI trade marks and OAPI patents would also extend to Djibouti. It transpired that Djibouti did not satisfy the membership requirements of OAPI and it is accordingly not a member of OAPI at this time.

Main features of the new Law for trade marks and patents include:

Types of Trade Marks Available

  • Trade and Service Marks
  • Collective Marks
  • Certification Marks
  • There are no associated marks or series of marks.

Registrability of Trade Marks

Signs suitable for graphic representation used to distinguish the goods or services of a person in trade; specifically denominations such as words, combinations of words, patronymic names and geographical names, pseudonyms, letters, figures, slogans, acronyms; figurative signs such as drawings, labels, seals, borders, reliefs, holograms, logos, computer generated imagery.

Arrangements, combinations of colours or colour shades are registrable; not colours in isolation, unconfined within a specific shape.

Shapes are registrable, in particular those of the product or its packaging or those characterizing a service; not forms imposed by the nature or function of the product. Audible marks such as sounds or musical phrases are registrable.

Transitional Provisions

Trade marks, registered in Djibouti under the French law of 1964 which applied in Djibouti and is now repealed, are to continue in force for the remainders of their current terms, and then become renewable under the current Law. The records relating to those existing trade mark registrations have been handed over by the former trade mark office (the Greffe [registry] of the civil court) to the new Industrial Property Office “ODPIC”.

Types of Patents Available

  • Patents of Invention
  • Certificates of Addition

Patentability Exclusions

The following may not be patented:

  • naturally occurring discoveries, substances, materials and organisms, as well as parts or elements thereof;
  • scientific theories and mathematical methods;
  • the human body and the materials that make up the human body, at the various stages of its constitution and development, as well as the elements thereof, including the sequence or partial sequence of a gene;
  • essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals;
  •  literary and artistic works or any other aesthetic creation;
  • schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business;
  • computer programs;
  • presentations of information;
  • plants and animals other than micro-organisms;
  • methods of diagnostic or surgical or therapeutic treatment for the human or animal body;
  • inventions, the commercial working or implementation of which would be contrary to public order or morality, or would infringe upon the health or life of people, animals, plants or the environment.


Spoor & Fisher Jersey,

Date published: 2012/08/06
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: industrial property law djibouti patents