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European patents expand to Africa

The growth of the European patent system is not to be constrained by geographical boundaries: from March this year, it will be possible to validate European patents in Morocco

Morocco flagMorocco will be the 41st country in which European patents can be validated, the European Patent Office announced yesterday.

The validation agreement, which was signed in 2010, will take effect for European patent applications filed from March 1 2015.

Morocco is the first country for which a validation agreement with the EPO enters into force. But the agreement does not mean that the country will become a member state of the EPO.

The north African country recently passed a new industrial property law (23-13), which entered into force on December 18 last year.

According to a statement from IP firm Saba & Co: “The law includes provisions on the protection of patents, integrated circuits, industrial designs, trade marks, and trade names.”

Another IP firm, AGIP, said: “According to this new law, prior substantive examination for trade marks, designs and patents applications is now required.”

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