Why and how to register a trademark in Tanzania

Tanzania has separate IP offices for mainland Tanzania (Tanganyika) and the Zanzibar and archipelago region. In order to acquire trademark rights in any of these two regions, a trademark must be filed directly in each trademark office. Trademark rights are born with actual registration.

Local trademark registration for mainland Tanzania is done through the Tanzanian Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA).

Trademark registration for mainland Tanzania may also be done regionally, as this country 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: BotswanaLesothoLiberiaMalawiNamibiaSao Tome and PrincipeSwazilandUganda, Tanzania (mainland) and Zimbabwe. For more information please visit our page on trademark services in ARIPO.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Tanzania, 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.

Opposition actions against a trademark may be presented following the publication of the trademark in the Trade and Service Mark Journal. Once published there are sixty (60) days to present opposition actions.

Locally registered trademark have a validity period of seven (7) years. Trademarks may be renewed for additional periods of ten (10) years after the initial registration period. There are no limits to how many times a registered trademark may be renewed in mainland Tanzania.

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