Why and how to register a trademark in Zimbabwe

It is not mandatory for trademark to be registered in Zimbabwe in order to establish rights. However, in practice, without registering one’s trademark, protecting one’s rights may prove to be difficult. For this reason we highly recommend that you register your trademark in Zimbabwe if this is a jurisdiction you or your company have an interest in.

The local trademark registration process in Zimbabwe takes approximately 12 months from the application date. In order to register a local trademark in this country, one must file it with the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO).

Once registered, a trademark in Zimbabwe is granted protection for ten (10) years. This period is counted from the date of application (filing date). A trademark may be renewed indefinitely every ten years.

Please be advised that if a trademark is not used in Zimbabwe for a period of five years, third parties may present cancellation actions against the trademark. The extent to which a trademark must be used to prevent this is minimal.

Trademark registration for Zimbabwe 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: 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.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Zimbabwe, 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 application in Zimbabwe may be presented within a time period of two (2) months after it is published by the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office.

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

Zimbabwe is 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.

 

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