A new industrial property law (No. 23-13) has been issued in Morocco, which amends Law No. 17-97 of 2000. The new law, which was issued on 18 December 2014 and which entered in force on 15 January 2015, provides for the protection of industrial property rights in accordance with international standards. It includes provisions which affect the protection of patents, integrated circuits, industrial designs, trade marks, and trade names.

Provisions of particular note in the new law are as follows:

Trade marks
- Examination on absolute as well as relative grounds is now provided for. Prior to the issuance of the new law, only a formal examination procedure was carried out, and a registration certificate was issued in the absence of any oppositions. From now on, any interested party may bring proceedings to have a trade mark declared invalid on absolute or relative grounds. 
- The new law reduces the time period within which to respond to oppositions from six months to two months.
- It will now be possible for an applicant to file one or more divisional applications, at any time before the registration of a trade mark. Divisional applications will benefit from the same filing date as the original application. Where division occurs after the parent application has been published, any objections raised against that parent application will apply to each of the divisional applications.
- The amended law encompasses the provisions of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention relating to prohibitions concerning state emblems, official hallmarks and emblems of intergovernmental organizations.
- The definition of a figurative representation of a sign has been expanded so as to include three dimensional trade marks, although a sign will not be registered as a trademark if it consists exclusively of a shape which: (1) results from the nature of the goods themselves, (2) is necessary to obtain a technical result, and (3) gives substantial value to the goods. 

Patents
- Substantive examination of patent applications is now provided for. Until now, patent applications were only subjected to formal examination.
- Annuities will become due after the grant of a patent, instead of the current necessity to pay annuities on each anniversary of the date of filing of a patent application.
- As with trade marks, it will now be possible to file divisional applications in respect of patent cases.
- As reported previously on our website, it will shortly be possible to validate European patents and patent applications in Morocco. This agreement will enter into force on 1 March 2015. After validation, a European patent will confer essentially the same protection in Morocco as patents granted by the EPO in its 38 member states. 

Industrial Designs
- Substantive examination of design applications is now provided for. 
- From now on it will now be possible to file divisional applications in respect of design cases.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.