Industrial Property in Morocco is governed by the law No. 17-97 dated December 18, 2004, as amended and completed by the two subsequent laws Nos. 31-05 of February 20, 2006 and the law 23-13 implemented on December 18, 2014.
The IP law was drafted to be in full compliance with the international standards adopted by the Paris Convention and the TRIPS Agreement to which Morocco is member state.
A trademark or a service mark is defined as a sign liable to distinguish the goods or services of an individual or a corporation.
Can constitute such a sign:
Words, surnames and geographical names, pseudonyms, letters, numbers, abbreviations; devices, labels, seals, selvedges, reliefs, tri-dimensional trademarks, holograms, logos, synthesized images; shapes of a product or its packaging or shapes identifying a service; arrangements, combinations or shades of colour; Sound marks, Smell marks.
A trademark can be rejected by the TMO in case it is not distinctive, or are liable to mislead the consumer on nature, quality or geographical origin of goods / services, or is contrary to public order and morality.
Only registered marks enjoy legal protection in Morocco.
Registering a trademark grants an exclusive right of ownership and exploitation its proprietor.
Unregistered trademarks do not have any legal status, except for well-known trademarks in the sense of Article 6bis of Paris Convention.
When a trademark is opposed, its owner can attend to its division in respect of part of goods / services covered by the initial application. A divisional application allows partial registration of a trademark for the non-opposed goods / services, without awaiting the outcome of the opposition.
Divisional trademarks maintain the same filing date and priority date, if any, of the initial application.
Opposed or rejected goods and services cannot be subject to a divisional application.
The validity period of a trademark is 10 years as from its filing / registration date, renewable indefinitely for like periods.
Non-renewal leads the trademark to lapse.