Uganda Signs in New Intellectual Property Law

In August 2013, Uganda passed the Industrial Property Bill. Over a year and a half later, the Bill has become the Industrial Property Act of 2014 and is now in force. The New Act is significant in that it represents the first formalized law relating to industrial property in the country. Some of the notable features of the new law relate to patents and industrial designs and ‘technovations.” The Act excludes pharmaceutical products and test data from patentability until 2033. This, in effect, extends the grace period for Uganda to lawfully import generic pharmaceuticals under the Doha Declaration of 2001. It is also now no longer possible to extend the 20 year patent term. In terms of Indus

Kenya's IP Institute Releases Drafting instructions to Repeal Trade Marks Act Rules

The Kenyan Industrial property Institute (KIPI) together with its stakeholders made proposals to repeal the Trade Marks Act, Cap 506 of the Laws of Kenya. These proposals were accepted and in 2015 forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office towards drafting a new Act. In order to align the provisions of the subsidiary legislation to the New Act, KIPI has prepared drafting instructions to repeal the Trade Mark Rules, which will be forwarded to the Attorney General's Office for drafting. KIPI has availed soft copies of the Drafting Instructions found here and the proposals to repeal the Trade Marks Act found here, Any person with comments, additions and or amendments to the Drafting Instructio

Sao Tome and Principe accedes to the Berne Convention

Joining a number of other African countries, Sao Tome and Principe also seems to be on the road to revamping its Intellectual Property System. Following its recent accession to the Banjul Protocol by which it joined the ARIPO regional trade mark filing system (which we reported on here), Sao Tome and Principe has now also acceded to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. According to the notification issued by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) (which can be accessed here), the instrument of accession to this treaty was deposited with WIPO on 14 March 2016 and it will therefore enter into force in respect of Sao Tome and Principe on 14 June 2

African Mobile Phone Brand Mi-Fone Uses Trade Mark to Stop the Sale of Xiaomi's Mi 4 in Nigeria.

In November 2015 Xiaomi, the third largest smartphone brand in the world, announced their plans to sell their flagship smartphones in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. The Chinese handsets Redmi 2 and Mi 4 were to be sold through a distribution partnership with Mobile In Africa (MIA) Group. In Nigeria MIA partnered with Jumia (an online retailer) with the aim of tapping into the Nigerian mobile telecommunication market where only 30 per cent of the 140 million phone subscribers own a smartphone. The sale of the Xiaomi mobile devices in Nigeria was short-lived as a result of the interim injunction filed by Mi-Fone International DMCC (An African mobile device brand) requesting the court to halt

Zanzibar signs into law new IP Regulations

Zanzibar (a grouping of islands off the East African coast), as a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, has recently promulgated the Zanzibar Industrial Property Regulations of 2014 (the “Regulations”). These Regulations, eagerly awaited by IP practitioners, will effectively operationalise the Zanzibar Industrial Property Act of 2008 , published by the Tanzanian Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the Government Gazette of 17 April 2015. The promulgated Regulations have 104 provisions and 3 schedules setting out the prescribed forms and a schedule of official fees. Generally, the regulations provide clarity on how some ambiguous provisions in the Industrial Property Act should be

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