Competition Law and Protection of Trade Names and Trademarks in Ethiopia: A Case Study

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Addis Ababa University


Thi thesis examines the adequacy and compatibility of the legal frameworks goveming trademarks. trade names and trade competition in Ethiopia. To this end. it employs tools of legal review and ca e analysi ' buttressed by qualitative data obtained from interviews, countly experiences and ca 'e tudy. The thesis principally, scrutinizes the Trademark Registration and Protection Proclamation No.50 112006 that lacks a clear legislative stipulation for the recognition of earlier tradenalnes upon trademark registration. Although the law requires distinctiveness for the registrability of trademarks, the writer contend' that thi cat/not adequately resolve priority conflicts between trade names and trademarks. There is no well-developed j udicial jurisprudence rectifying the legislative loophole either. Furthermore, the regi tration of trademarks and trade names in different organs poses practical problems. A deadlock arises sinc ' the Ministry of Trade and the Ethiopian [ntellectual Property Office have no mutually supportive 'earch data ba 'es dwing registration. [n particular, the registration of a trademark in respect of class of ervice or goods which conflIcts with a trade name of a business entity regi tered with similar activities to the good or ervices, and vice ,,"rsa provokes avalanche of tradename-trademark infringements and unfair competition uits. The thesi also finds out significant lacunae on the competition, trade name, and trademark regimes which become stumbling blocks for succes ;fit! enforcement actions out there. So much so that, the present thesis propo es the articulation of priority and prevalence rules during the registration oftradenames and trademarks supplemented by institutiOllal synchronization across trademarks. trade names and competition regime . The legislature should adopt an eclectic line ofjurisprudencejrom the benchmarked countly experiences discussed in the paper. This exercise requires legislative amendment and institutional revitalization.



Ethiopia: A case Study