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Somaliland does not have any laws specifically dealing with the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR’s). However, Article 16 (2) of the Somaliland Constitution provides that “the law shall determine the rights to authoring, creating and inventing” and thus imposes on the Government of Somaliland an obligation to implement laws dealing with the protection and enforcement of IPR’s

Somalia is a member of ARIPO, although a designation from an ARIPO filing will have no effect, since Somalia is, at present, a non-functioning country. The 1991 coup of the government has led to a total collapse of all functions, including jurisprudential ones. As such, no statutes on industrial or intellectual property exists.

Lusaka Agreement;
African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (“ARIPO”);
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (“Paris Convention”); and
Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”)

Absolute novelty applies.

6 months novelty grace period is applicable if the inventor or his successor discloses the invention by exhibiting it at an officially recognised international exhibition.

Examination of patents are substantive and based on search and examination reports.

A patent has a duration of 20 years from the filing date, subject to renewal fees being paid. Where a renewal annuity is missed and not paid within six months of the date of the renewal, the patent will lapse. Restoration of the patent is at the discretion of the Director-General of ARIPO and may be requested.