Burundi and Rwanda: trade mark renewal deadlines
Trade mark owners with registrations in Burundi and/or Rwanda are reminded that certain trade marks need to be renewed this year in order to remain valid.
Trade mark owners with registrations in Burundi are reminded that trade marks registered in Burundi before 29 July 2009 will have to be renewed before 29 July 2019 in order to remain valid.
The current IP legislation, the Burundi Industrial Property Law, came into force on 28 July 2009. This law provides that all trade mark registrations obtained after this date have a ten-year term which is indefinitely renewable. Prior to 28 July 2009 trade marks were registered for indefinite terms.
Trade mark owners with registrations in Rwanda should take note that trade marks registered in Rwanda before 14 December 2009 will have to be renewed on 14 December 2019 in order to remain valid.
This relates to all trade mark registrations filed prior to the coming into force of Rwanda Law 31/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property (“the Law”). The new Law, which is dated 26 October 2009, came into force following its publication on 14 December 2009. The provisions of the new Law require all trade marks filed under the previous arrangements to be renewed 10 years after the new Law came into force. Originally, the Registry advised that the renewal date would be 26 October 2019, and for a number of renewals filed early the Registry have issued certificates based on this information. More recently, the Registry have clarified that the renewal due date of old Law cases is 14 December 2019 (based on the date of publication), and have requested that certificates issued with the October date be returned for correction. We have already notified our clients in this regard.
We encourage clients to proceed with the renewal of such cases as soon as possible. We confirm that the term of renewal in both jurisdictions will not be shortened.
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