In order to protect a trademark in Lesotho, it must be registered. In order to do so, one may either file an application with the local trademark office under the Ministry of Law and Constitutional Affairs Registrar General's Office, or register the trademark regionally through the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO).
Lesotho is a member of the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) and a party to the Banjul Protocol. Registration through ARIPO grants protection and recognition in the following ten countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania (mainland) and Zimbabwe. For more information please visit our page on trademark services in ARIPO.
Registering a trademark through ARIPO is considerably faster than registering a trademark for Lesotho through the local trademark office under the Ministry Of Law And Constitutional Affairs.
Lesotho is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.
Please bear in mind that sounds, smells and holograms cannot be registered as trademarks in Lesotho.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Lesotho, 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. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
Opposition actions may be presented within the period of three (3) months following the date on which the application is published in the Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Our trademark Assessment Reports do not consider figurative or design elements of a trademark when comparing it to previously filed or registered trademark that have already been registered for this jurisdiction. Similarity searches in this jurisdiction can only be done for the word elements of the trademarks.
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.
Registered trademarks in Lesotho have a validity of ten (10) years can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date.