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Trademark Renewal
In Morocco in order to maintain the validity of a trademark registration you must renew it every 10 years. The renewal process is fairly simple, you will need to provide trademark registration details and send us a power of attorney.
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Applications are handled by experienced local Trademark Attorneys to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
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If your trademark application is rejected, our Attorneys will inform you and advise you on the best course of action.
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 10 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in Morocco, do I have protection in other territories?

No. The mark will be protected only in the territory of Morocco.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

Yes. Applicants are required to submit a power of attorney.

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Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

No. There is no benefit from pre-filing use of the mark. Rights are established only through registration.

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Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Yes. If the registered mark does not meet the requirements with regards to usage, it will be vulnerable to revocation of rights.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Morocco?

Marks that can be recreated or replicated graphically and signs that can help the public distinguish a good or service from its counterparts is allowed for registration.

  • slogan
  • word
  • name
  • colors
  • shapes (3-dimensional)
  • devices
  • geographical names
  • letters
  • seals
  • numbers
  • hologram
  • acronym
  • smell
  • trade dress
  • sound
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Morocco?

The order of trademark application in Morocco is as follows: 

  1. Examination – All applications are examined according to:
    • Compliance to requirements
    • Classification of goods/services
    • Descriptiveness
    • Capability of the mark to be represented graphically
    • Deceptiveness
    • Conflict with earlier registrations
  2. Publication – Information about the trademark application will be posted online and will be published in the Trademark Gazette. This will allow the public to oppose if needed.
    • Mark
    • Applicant’s name
    • Application number
    • Application date
    • Goods/services
  3. Registration – Once the examiners approved the mark and there are no oppositions after the publication or the oppositions are dismissed, the trademark office will grant the registration certificate
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What type of trademark is non-registrable?

The trademark law of Morocco does not accept the following marks for registration: 

  • Marks that are against public order or oppose moral standards
  • Generic words or common terms
  • Names/flags/symbols of nations/states/regions and international organizations
  • Marks that lack distinctive qualities
  • Marks that mislead the consumers as to the good’s origin of place or quality
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Does Morocco use the "Nice Classification" system?

Yes. Nice Classification is applicable in Morocco.

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Is there any possibility to claim priority in Morocco?

The home application filing date can be acknowledged as the Morocco filing date if: 

  • Home country is a Paris Convention signatory
  • Home filing date is within 6 months from the date of filing in Morocco
  • International registration can be based in Morocco
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

To satisfy the requirement, the owner must use the mark on a business scale and within this jurisdiction. There should be no 5-year gap between each use.

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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

Registered marks in Morocco are valid for 10 years starting from the date of application.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date is done on the 10th year after the filing of application date.

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Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Yes. Unregistered marks are legally allowed to be used for goods and services.

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Does having a registered trademark in Morocco afford me any right?

Morocco law requires registration of trademark in order for the owner to secure rights.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?

Morocco’s trademark office is available online. Visit the website at: https://www.ompic.org.ma/

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

No. Applicants are not required to actually use the mark or to have intention to use the mark before applying for registration.

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What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?

Here are the grounds for an application to be opposed: 

  • Proprietary rights
  • Breach of copyright
  • Generic marks
  • Issues against morality and public policy
  • Conflict with a personal name
  • Conflict with a registered design
  • Conflict with a trade name
  • Registration under agent’s name
  • Use of protected flags, state emblems and armorial bearings
  • Functional marks
  • Misleading/disparaging/deceptive marks
  • Not distinctive marks
  • Descriptive marks
  • Use of a geographical indication
  • Conflict with a notorious or famous mark
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Who can contest my trademark registration?

Owners and licensees of an earlier right can oppose the application.

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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Registrations can be cancelled on these grounds: 

  • Proprietary rights
  • Descriptive marks
  • Not distinctive marks
  • Misleading, deceptive or disparaging marks
  • Functional marks
  • Breach of copyright
  • Conflict with a well-known mark
  • Use of protected armorial bearings, state emblems and flags
  • Conflict with trade names that might confuse the public mind
  • Conflict with a registered design
  • Conflict with popular personal names
  • Generic marks or commonly used
  • Use of geographical indications
  • Issues against morality or public order
  • Use of name, picture, or reputation of a person of authority
  • Use of name of style of a company
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Yes. Registration of a trademark helps the owner secure these rights: 

  • Exclusive rights to use the mark
  • Right to challenge applications that are in conflict with the mark
  • Right to demand for the cancellation of registrations that are in conflict with the mark
  • Right to take a legal action against third parties that are infringing the mark
  • Right to demand for damages from third parties that infringed the mark
  • Right to license and authorize third parties to use the mark
  • Right to appeal from customs authorities for the seizure of imported counterfeit goods that bear the mark
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period will officially start on the date when the application was printed in the Trademark Gazette, and it will end 60 days later.

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Is Morocco a member of the Madrid System?

Yes. Morocco is a party to international treaties: Madrid Protocol and Madrid Agreement.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

No. Period statement of use or any other similar filing that sets forth the use of the mark is not necessary.

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When should I renew my trademark?

Registered trademarks in Morocco are renewed every 10 years to maintain their validity.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date is done on the 10th year after the filing of application date.

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Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

Renewing a trademark registration requires a power of attorney which must be printed on the applicants’ letterhead.

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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

Late renewal of trademark is possible since the trademark office can extend the renewal period for up to 6 months.

Basic Questions
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies a company’s products and services and distinguishes them from those of its competitors in the market. The name (the verbal element) is not the only component of a trademark—figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors, and sounds also create an identity that can be protected by trademark registration.

With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services, and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this trademark symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this service mark symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

You can lay claim to your work in many ways. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection to intellectual property owners. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or services from others in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea alone (otherwise we’d all be doing it). You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to an existing problem.

Copyright protects all types of original published, performed, and printed creative works of art, literature, and music. It prevents people from using, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works without the permission of the artist, author, composer, etc. Types of work covered by copyright protection include:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are all examples of ways you can protect your intellectual property. Your rights to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

The symbol of a circled letter R after a trademark name or graphic image means that the preceding trademark has been registered. Various typographic symbols indicate copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but the best practice is to use circle‑R or circle‑C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM or trademark symbol indicates an unregistered trademark for one of 34 different classes of products. Owners use this symbol to claim the preceding name or logo as the Trademark of their product.
  • SM: The SM or service mark symbol is similar to the TM symbol except it indicates a claim to a mark for a service (one of 11 classes of service) rather than a tangible product.
  • ®: Use the ® symbol once you’ve registered your trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to indicate copyrighted material. The copyright notice should appear on the material as Copyright © followed by the date the work was created, the copyright owner’s name, a period, and finally “All Rights Reserved.” Like this: Copyright © 2021, John Smith. All Rights Reserved. Use it whether the copyright has been registered or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe best describe your business activity. 

Countries around the world have standardized 45 classes (34 for products and 11 for services) for international use under the Nice International Classification.

These classes group all known products and services. If applicable, you can register the same trademark in more than one class; for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23 and register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is, therefore, possible for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. If you feel that protection should extend to include more than one class, you can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business.

You can search for your trademark class with this Trademark Class Search tool.

Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? 

Too many people use a name without knowing whether or not they have the legal right to do so. They organize massive marketing campaigns with names they later find they’re not allowed to use. Performing a comprehensive search before deciding which trademark to register is a wise thing to do, especially when you consider future risks of litigation.  

It is a good idea to carry out some research before starting to do business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  The other company may object to you using the trademark and legally prohibit you from doing so.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you seek professional help. Our company offers a Comprehensive Trademark Study service. The Study gives you details of the classes in which you might want to register your trademark; it also lists identical and similar trademarks, and finally, you get an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you know a little about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend that you hire a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially the trademark search because the process is complex and relatively time consuming.

Please note that if you don’t manage to complete the application process correctly, the registration can drag on for several months and end up costing far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace, given the increasing number of unregistered and common law trademarks. Globalization also raises the question of entering international markets and registering trademarks in foreign countries to protect both your brand and your property rights.

Please note that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not necessarily guarantee your trademark will be accepted and registered. A  Comprehensive Trademark Study includes an extended review process and, more significantly, a formal evaluation of the likelihood that your application will be successful.

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