Patents of Invention

– Ordinance No. 1 of January 22, 1955, as amended by Presidential Decree of January 18, 1975, and Law No. 3 of December 8, 1987.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since November 18, 1982.
– Somalia is a member of ARIPO, but has not ratified the Harare Protocol on patents and industrial designs. It is therefore not possible to obtain patent protection in Somalia by means of an ARIPO patent application.

Filing, Protection

Applicant: the inventor or an assignee, either national or foreign.

Naming of inventor(s): not necessary.

Novelty: prior disclosure within the territory or abroad in such a manner as to permit an invention to be worked, destroys novelty.

Patentable: any new method or industrial process capable of industrial application or any new machine, instrument, utensil or mechanical device or improvement. Protection for inventions relating to processes for obtaining products is deemed to extend to the products obtained by such processes.

Unpatentable: medical remedies or process for preparing same and inventions contrary to law, public order or good morals.

Kinds of protection: (a) patents; (b) patents of addition.

Amendment: not provided for.

Examination procedure: there is no examination as to novelty, only as to form. Application may, however, be refused on the grounds of lack of unity of invention. Applications dealing with foodstuffs and beverages are referred to the Inspectorate of Health for approval and may be refused if the invention is considered detrimental to health.

Opposition: not provided for.

Publication: specifications are not published, but notice of grant is published in the Official Government Gazette. Specifications and drawings are placed at the disposal of the public three months after grant, but may be delayed for a further three months on request.

Beginning of protection: protection begins as from the date of filing.

Duration: fifteen years from the date of application. Patents of addition expire with the main patent.

Extension: not possible.

Annuities: payable annually from date of filing. 

Annuity grace period: up to six months possible on payment of fines.

Marking: not provided for, but the marking of unpatented goods with the intent to pass them off as being the subject of a patent is a punishable offense.

Assignments: must be recorded. Requirements for registration of an assignment: (a) deed of assignment or other instrument of title together with a verified English or Arabic translation; (b) power of attorney (not legalized).

Working: failure to work a patent within three years of the date of grant, or suspension of working for three years, results in the lapsing of the patent.

Infringement: actions for infringement may be brought by patentees.

Expropriation: patents may be expropriated by the Administration in the interests of military defense or public welfare.

Revocation: applications for revocation may be brought by any interested party.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, simply signed;
2. Specification in triplicate in English or Arabic;
3. Drawings in triplicate, one on Bristol board or tracing linen.