This agreement is the result of the intensive collaboration between the EPO and the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office (OMPIC) that started at the end of 2010. In June, 2013, Battistelli and Adil Elmaliki, Director-General of the OMPIC, held an important meeting in Munich where they signed a set of co-operation agreements between the two offices. In addition, since November 2013, the OMPIC in collaboration with the OHIM and WIPO, made its trade mark data available to the TM view search tool.
In order to adapt the Moroccan legislation to this new legislative framework, Morocco passed the Law No. 23-13, on protection of industrial property, which came into force on December 18th, 2014. This law reinforces the national system of industrial property and includes provisions on the protection of patents, integrated circuits, industrial designs, trademarks, trade names and strict measures for combating counterfeiting. It offers advantages not only to Moroccan businesses but also to foreign investors.
From the 1st of March, 2015, when the agreement will enter into force, the European patent applications and the patents validated for Morocco will have the same legal effects as Moroccan ones and will be subject to Moroccan patent law. As a result of this Minister Elalamy views the agreement as a huge step towards Morocco’s integration into the global economy.
This is not the only case of collaboration between the EPO and an African country. In fact, the Tunisian Patent Office (INNORPI) signed a similar agreement last July that has not yet come into force.
Written by María Vega