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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 construed and allow for English or Swahili as official languages for IP applications

Highlights from the regulations include:

Patent provisions enabling

  • The filing of International and national Patents;

  • The application of the International Patents Classification System under the updated Strasbourg Agreement;

  • Applications for protection of Utility Models ;

  • The Payment of maintenance annual fees for Patents and Utility Models.

Trade mark provisions give guidance on the

  • Filing of geographical indications;

  • Filing of Service Marks, Collective marks, Certification marks as well as Nontraditional marks:

  • Procedures for reclassification of trademarks.

The Industrial Design provisions give guidance on

The filing of Industrial Designs and Layout Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits.

The regulations also make provision for security of costs, in opposition matters, in respect of Applicants/Opponent with no immovable property in Zanzibar and priority claims for foreign applicants seeking to register Patents and Trade marks in Zanzibar.

Now that the IP Act is fully operational, we look forward to seeing an increase of IP filings from clients wishing to protect their marks in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

For more information please contact Carole Theuri

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