Following a recent decision by the Ethiopian Patent Office, all national patent applications will now be examined in accordance with Article 13(3) of the current Patents Law (Proclamation No. 123/1995).

 

From 1st July 2019, patent applicants will be required to request search and examination and pay the associated official fee of US$200 within three months of the local filing date. Furthermore, this practice will retroactively apply to all applications currently pending at the EIPO which have not yet been examined. A deadline has not been set for requesting this examination, nor will the EIPO notify applicants formally, but we would recommend filing a request for examination at the earliest opportunity to avoid delaying the prosecution of the application.

 

It is unclear at this stage how the EIPO intends to examine patents, but Section 28 of the Patent Regulations No. 12/1997 allows for both examination by technical experts designated by the Commission and transmission to an approved examining authority.

 

Patents of importation (those based on a granted foreign patent) will not be subject to local examination and are therefore unaffected by this procedural change.

 

For further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Lysaght contact or email us at admin@lysaght.co.uk .