Provides advice on IPR protection, including information on the registration of patents and trademarks.
The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) oversees Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues. Ethiopia has not signed a number of major IPR treaties, such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright treaty, the Berne Convention for Literary and Artistic Works, the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The government has expressed its intention to accede to the Paris Convention, Marrakesh Protocol and Madrid Protocol. EIPO has been tasked primarily to protect Ethiopian patent rights and copyrighted materials, and to fight pirated software. Generally, EIPO is weak in terms of staff and budget, and does not have law enforcement authority. Abuse of U.S. trademarks is rampant, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors. The government does not publicly track counterfeit goods seizures, and no estimates are available. Ethiopia is not listed in USTR’s Special 301 report and notorious market report.
In any foreign market, companies should consider several general principles for effective management of their intellectual property.