Morocco

Country Data

Official Name: Kingdom of Morocco
Capital: Rabat
Area: 716,550 sq km
Population: 37,112,080 (2020 estimate)
Official Language: Arabic, Berber (official languages), French (often the language of business and government)
GDP: US$ 332.358 billion (PPP, 2019 estimate)
Currency: Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
Work Days: Sunday – Thursday

Conventions/ Treaties

  • The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (since June 16, 1917)
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (since July 30, 1917)
  • Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods (since July 30, 1917)
  • Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (since July 30, 1917)
  • Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (since October 20, 1930)
  • Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (signed on Oct 31, 1958)
  • Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (since October 1, 1966)
  • WIPO Convention (since July 27, 1971)
  • Brussels Convention Relating to the Distribution of Programme-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite (since June 30, 1983)
  • Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol (since November 11, 1993)
  • WTO/ TRIPS Agreement (since January 1, 1995)
  • Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (since October 8, 1999)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (since October 8, 1999)
  • UPOV Convention (since October 8, 2006)
  • Trademark Law Treaty (July 6, 2009)
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (since July 20, 2011)
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty (since July 20, 2011)
  • WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (since July 20, 2011)
  • Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (signed, June 26, 2012)
  • Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (signed on June 28, 2013)
  • Trademark
  • Patent
  • Industrial Design
  • Copyright
National Legislation
  • Law No. 17‐97 of 2000 on the Protection of Industrial Property (as amended and supplemented by Law No. 31‐05 on the Protection of Industrial Property)
Basic Information
Creation of rights: First-to-file jurisdiction (subject to occasional exceptions).
Basis for filing: Intent to use acceptable – prior use is not a prerequisite.
Well-known marks: Special protection may be available. Nevertheless, local registration of the mark is highly recommended.
Types of marks: Trademarks, Service Marks, Certification Marks, Collective Marks.
Priority: 6-month priority claim under the Paris Convention.
Madrid System: Available – Morocco is a member of the Madrid Union
Filing system: Multi class application is permitted.
Classification: Nice Classification 11th edition.
Who can be Applicant: (1) Individuals; (2) Corporate entities (3) Joint application
Examination: On formal and absolute grounds.
Publication: In Trademark Journal – which is an online publication.
Opposition period: 2 months from the date of publication.
Duration of registration: 10 years from the filing date – renewable for further periods of 10 years each upon request of the trademark owner as early as 6 months before the expiration date.
Renewal grace period: 6 months upon payment of additional late fee.
Use requirement: A trademark registration becomes vulnerable to cancellation upon the request of an interested party in case of non-use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years.
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): 6 to 8 months (approximately for smooth registration)
Search
Official Search: Available for i) word marks; and ii) device marks
Scope of search: Includes all applied-for and registered marks, whether national marks or international marks in Morocco under the Madrid System.
Turnaround time: 5 working days.
Ways to obtain protection
  1. Filing of national application with or without priority claim under the Paris Convention
  2. Applications under the Madrid System

Filing Requirements

New Applications
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the Applicant;
  2. Certified copy of the priority document with verified French or Arabic translation, if priority is claimed. This document may be submitted within 3 months of the filing date.
Renewal of Registration
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the trademark proprietor;
  2. A simple copy of certificate of registration of the mark.
Change of Name / Address Recordation
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney stating the new name/ address of the trademark owner;
  2. Certified copy of certificate of change of name/ address of the owner with verified French or Arabic translation; duly notarized.
Assignment Recordation
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the Assignee;
  2. A duly notarized Assignment document with verified French or Arabic translation.
Merger Recordation
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the surviving entity;
  2. A duly notarized Merger document with verified French or Arabic translation.
License Recordation
  1. Simply signed Powers of Attorney from the trademark proprietor and the licensee with verified French or Arabic translation;
  2. A duly notarized License Agreement with verified French or Arabic translation.
National Legislation
  • Law No. 17‐97 of 2000 on the Protection of Industrial Property (as amended and supplemented by Law No. 31‐05 on the Protection of Industrial Property)
Ways to obtain patent protection:
  1. National Filing in Morocco
  2. PCT national phase applications
  3. Validation of European Patent Applications
Basic Information
Claims admissible for: 1) Process; and 2) Product
Novelty requirement: Absolute
Convention priority: Available (12 months)
PCT national phase entry deadline: 31 months from the date of earliest priority
Search: Possible by title of invention, name of the patentee, inventor, abstract, and priority or PCT numbers.
Examination: With respect to form, novelty, inventiveness, industrial applicability, unity, and compliance.
Publication: A patent application, if not rejected or withdrawn, shall be published after a period of 18 months from the filing date or the earliest priority date.
Opposition period: 2 months from the date of publication in the Official Gazette
Protection term (patent): 20 years from the filing date and in case of the PCT national phase applications, from the international filing date.
Annuity payment: For patents granted under the PCT, annuity payment becomes due on the anniversary of the international filing date and payable after acceptance and grant
Grace period for late annuity payment: 6 months with a surcharge.
Working/ Compulsory License: If the patent is not fully exploited by the patentee within three years from the date of grant or four years from the filing date, whichever comes later, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Law.
Patent grant timeframe (straightforward case): 20 to 24 months (approximately)
Filing Requirements
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the applicant;
  2. Patent specification, claims, drawings (if any), and abstract in French and Arabic;
  3. A duly certified copy of priority document, if priority is claimed (not required for PCT national phase applications).

For PCT national phase application in Morocco, the following items would also be required:

  1. A copy of International Publication with patent specification, claims, drawings, and abstract.
  2. A copy of International Search Report and Preliminary Examination Report;
  3. Verified Arabic or French translation of the patent specification, claims, drawings and abstract.
National Legislation
  • Law No. 17‐97 of 2000 on the Protection of Industrial Property (as amended and supplemented by Law No. 31‐05 on the Protection of Industrial Property)
Ways to obtain protection for design:
  1. National filing in Morocco with or without priority claim under the Paris Convention
Basic Information
Types of designs: (1) Drawings; and (2) models.
Novelty: Novelty is a prerequisite for the designs to be afforded registration.
Multiple figures: An application may comprise up to 100 industrial designs provided that these designs belong to the same class of the International Classification for industrial designs.
Convention priority: 6 month priority may be claimed
Locarno Classification: Followed for filing the design applications
Examination: Industrial design applications are subjected to examination on formal and absolute grounds
Publication: Upon receiving official decision for protection, design applications are published in the Official Gazette
Opposition: There are no provisions for opposition filing in the law.
Protection term: Initial protection term is 5 years from the filing date. Renewal for further four consecutive 5-year terms is possible bringing the maximum protection period to 15 years. Renewal may be requested within six months preceding the expiry of the running protection period
Annuity grace period: 6 months with a surcharge
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): 2 to 3 months (approximately)
Requirements
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the applicant.
  2. Certified copy of the priority document with verified Arabic or French translation, if priority is claimed.
  3. Representations (drawings/ photographs) of the design.
  4. A brief description of the design in Arabic or French.
National Legislation
  • Law No. 2-00 on Copyright and Related Rights (promulgated by Dahir No. 1-00-20 of 9 Kaada 1420 (February 15, 2000), and amended up to Law No. 79-12)
Basic Information

Works protected: The copyright protection under the Moroccan Copyright Law specifically covers: works expressed in writing; computer programs; lectures, addresses, sermons and other works made in words or spoken orally; musical works, whether or not they include accompanying texts; dramatic and dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show; audio-visual works including cinematographic works and videograms; works of fine art, including drawings, paintings, engravings, lithographs, leather impressions and all other works of fine art; architectural works; photographic works; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relating to geography, topography, architecture or science; expressions of folklore and works inspired by folklore; the designs of the creations of the clothing industry; title of a work, if it is original; derivative works and collections; translations, adaptations, musical arrangements and other transformations of works and expressions of folklore; collections of works, expressions of folklore or simple features or data, such as encyclopedias, anthologies and databases, whether in machine readable or other form which, by reason of the selection, coordination or arrangement of their contents; old manuscripts.

Exceptions to copyright protection: The following are specifically excluded from copyright protection: official texts of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature, or their official translations; news of current events that may merely be news reports; ideas, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, discoveries or mere data, even if they are set out, described, explained, illustrated or embodied in a work.

Duration of copyright: Copyright protection term is 70 years, starting from the end of the year following the death of the author, in addition to the lifetime of the author.

Registration timeframe: 1 to 2 months (approximately).

Filing Requirements
  1. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the applicant.
  2. A brief description of the copyright.
  3. A copy of the work.

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