Registering a trademark through the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) grants protection in the 11 member states that are also a part to the Banjul Protocol, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania (mainland) and Zimbabwe.
A registered trademark in ARIPO will be valid for 10 years from the date of application and may be renewed for periods of 10 years.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) through ARIPO, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
Oppositions against trademarks that are filed through ARIPO must be presented within three (3) months from the publication of the trademark application in the ARIPO Journal. Opposition actions in these cases are not presented directly in the offices of ARIPO; they necessarily have to filed with the respective national offices.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration through ARIPO (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.