Why and how to register a trademark in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in some exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark be protected. The trademark applications must be filed with the Directorate of Industrial Property.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 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 present actions against the registration. Such action may only be presented within a certain period of time.

Registered trademarks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have a validity of ten (10) years from the application date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested during the grace period of six (6) months after expiration, upon payment of a late renewal fee.

Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for more than three years after registration or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark.

If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (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.

 

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