IPELA Patent and Utility Model Services

IPELA provide patent and utility model registration service in Ethiopia. It also represents clients for the issuance of patent of introduction. IPELA provides patent document drafting service, filing search applications and reporting, filing registration applications, annuity and renewal of patent and utility model certificates.

Patent & Utility Model Services

IPELA patent registration services include the following:- 

  • Patent search
  • Patent document drafting
  • Filling applications
  • Issuance of patent
  • Appeal on patent applications

IPELA provide Utility model registration services in the same line as patent registration service including search.

IPELA handle annuities for both patent and utility model certificate. We also represent clients for the renewal of patent and utility model certificates.

IPELA represent clients who have legitimate interest for the invalidation of patent or utility model certificate and process invalidation applications.

IPELA draft agreements for the transfer of patent or utility model certificate and handle all process needed for the recording of such change of ownership in the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office.

IPELA serves as a center of linkage for inventors/innovators/ and industrialists. We enable patent holders to commercialize their inventions.

FAQ on Patent & Utility Model

Patent is an intellectual property right granted over an invention that is invented to solve technical problem in the field of technology. It is also referred as an ownership title granted over an invention that may relate to a product or process.  In legal terms, the patent system gives legal protection to inventors’ rights by the doing of the law.

An invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. An invention is considered as new if it is not anticipated by prior art that is disclosed to the public anywhere in the world by any means. An invention is deemed as involving an inventive step where it would have not been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in that specific field of the invention. Industrial applicability refers to the applicability of an invention to be made or used in handicraft, agriculture, fishery, social services and in any other sector.

The following inventions are not patentable in Ethiopia.

  • Inventions contrary to public order or moral.
  • Plant or animal verities or essentially biological processes for the production of plant or animals.
  • Schemes, rules or methods for playing games or performing commercial and industrial activities and computer programs.
  • Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods.
  • Methods for treatment of human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body and
  • Works protected by copyright.

There are two different rules in determining procedural requirements needed for patenting an invention. These rules are first-to-file rule and first-to-invent rule. The first-to-file rule refers that the one who files registration application first has priority over the individual who conceived the invention first. In contrast, the first-to-invent rule favors the person who invented the invention first.  The Ethiopian patent law has adopted first-to-file rule.

Registration is mandatory to grant patent. An application for registration is filed to Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office by a person having right to a patent. An application to registration shall be made in writing and one application shall relate to one invention only unless the inventions belong to a single general concept. The application shall contain request for grant of patent and include description of the invention, one or more claims, an abstract, and where necessary, drawings. Each of these parts of application shall be prepared as follows;

The request part shall contain a petition to the effect that a patent be granted, the name of and other prescribed data concerning the applicant, the inventor and the agent, in any, and the title of the invention. The request shall contain statement justifying the applicant’s right to the patent, if he/she is not the inventor.

The description shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be carried out by a person having ordinary skill in the art, and shall, in particular indicate at least one mode known to the applicant for carrying out the invention.

The claim or claims shall define clearly and concisely the matter for which protection is sought. And the claims shall be supported by the description.

The abstract merely serve the purpose of giving general technical information on the invention.

Drawings are required for the understanding of the invention and may be used to interpret the claims. Drawings are not always necessary.

If once patent is granted, the patentee will have an exclusive right to make, use or otherwise exploit the patented invention. Meaning, third party cannot exploit the patented invention without securing patentee’s consent.  

The duration of patent protection mostly ranges from 10-20 years in different jurisdictions. It is 15 + 5 under the Ethiopian patent law. Patent right is protected in Ethiopia for initial period of fifteen years commencing from the filling date of the application and for an additional five years period provided that proof is furnished that the invention is being properly worked in Ethiopia.

Utility model is another form of ownership title (certificate) that is granted over minor inventions which lacks inventive step. Utility Model certificate is defined under the Ethiopian patent law as a certificate issued to minor invention which is fit for practical use. Unlike to patent, utility model certificate is granted for minor inventions which are new in Ethiopia and having industrial applicability. The term of utility model certificate under the Ethiopian Patent law is 5 + 5 years period. A utility model certificate is granted for five year period initially and may be extended for another five year period provided that proof is furnished that the minor invention is being worked in Ethiopia.

Though utility model certificate has the above distinctive features, it has some similarity with patent in regard to filling procedures, types and acquisition of rights and other formality matters.