New countries posed to join ARIPO for trade marks
Mozambique and Zambia are expected to accede to the Banjul Protocol, the international treaty making provision for the registration of trade marks with ARIPO, soon. This is according to the Director General of ARIPO, Fernando dos Santos, at INTA recently.
ARIPO is an African regional filing system in terms of which member states can be designated to be covered by a single registration. Although ARIPO as a body has nineteen members (states that have acceded to the Lusaka Agreement that founded it), currently only ten of those member states have acceded to the Banjul Protocol. The addition of two more countries will therefore be welcomed by rights holders that wish to protect their trade marks at the lowest possible cost.
As cautioned in our previous post about the Banjul Protocol (which can be read here), only Botswana, Liberia and Zimbabwe have amended their local legislation to make provision for the recognition of ARIPO registrations and as such are the only countries in which such a registration may be enforceable.
As more countries join and amend their local legislation, however, this system is likely to become very attractive as a cost-effective way of protecting trade marks in a number of countries.