Invalidation and opposition hearings for trade marks have been temporarily suspended in Botswana due to a human resource shortaged in the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA).
On 25 January 2016, the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) issued a notice on the processing and handling of trade mark opposition hearings and invalidations. The notice stated that CIPA was unable to conduct hearings for trademark oppositions and invalidations until further notice.
Late last year CIPA underwent a restructuring proccess.The proccess resulted in the loss of critical staff needed to conduct the opposition and invalidation hearings, While the office is working on a interim solution to address this gap, it also states that it will be reviewing the Industrial Property Act in order to make the structure of the tribunal once active, more effective.The review will include comments and submission which they plan to solicit from the public.
Despite CIPA not being able to conduct hearings, interested parties can still submit trademark oppositions which the office assures will be received and acknowledged. This being a promising sign that the office will resume to its full capacity in the near future.