Mozambique accedes to the ARIPO Banjul Protocol on trade marks

In terms of a notice published on the official ARIPO website, Mozambique has acceded to the (ARIPO) Banjul Protocol on trade marks. The full text of the notice can be found at: https://www.aripo.org/mozambique-accedes-to-the-banjul-protocol-on-marks/

The notice states that “The Government of the Republic of Mozambique deposited its Instrument of Accession to the Banjul Protocol on Marks with the Director General of ARIPO on 15 May 2020. In accordance with the provisions of the Protocol, the latter will enter into force, with respect to the Republic of Mozambique, on 15 August 2020.”

In terms of the Mozambique Industrial Property Code of 2016, hereinafter referred to as the “IP Code”, (published on 31 December 2015 under Decree No. 47/2015, which came into force on 31 March 2016), provision was made for “Regional registration”. Section II of the IP Code deals with such registrations in Articles 142 – 153. With the exception of Article 153, the relevant articles do not specifically provide for registrations via ARIPO, but rather for “ …. regional treaties relating to the protection of intellectual property and to which Mozambique is a Contracting Party ….” in accordance with the Instruments of Accession (Article 142). However, as Article 153 specifically refers to ARIPO, it is safe to assume that the legislation was aimed at accession to the ARIPO regional system when drafted and published in 2015.

Article 151 states that the provisions of the IP Code shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to regional registrations. Accordingly, one of the implications is that it will be essential to lodge Declarations of Intent to Use (“DIUs”) in Mozambique for the ARIPO registrations designating Mozambique, and to comply with all other formal requirements of the IP Code. Article 153 confirms that the 5-year term for the lodgement of DIUs shall be calculated from the “date of notification” by ARIPO of the application. Presumably, this means that it should be calculated from the date on which ARIPO notifies the Mozambique Registry (“IPI”) of having received an application designating Mozambique, as opposed to the application date at ARIPO. Hopefully, this “date of notification” will be published in either the Mozambique IP Bulletin or relevant ARIPO notifications or registers.

Whilst, in terms of Article 12(1) of the IP Code, all applications under the Code must be submitted in Portuguese, Article 12(2) states that: “Regional and international applications shall be submitted in the official languages established by their respective implementing legal instruments or in the languages elected by Mozambique in the Act of Accession.”

No indication has been given as to the cost in official fees when designating Mozambique, and it may be the same as for Mozambique national applications. In respect of other participating countries (such as Zimbabwe) the official fees associated with ARIPO applications are substantially lower than national applications. The Mozambique Registry (“IPI”) has not issued any regulations pertaining to costing or practical implementation. We shall monitor the situation and provide updates as and when clarification is received from official sources.

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Date published: 2 June 2020
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: Mozambique ARIPPO Banjul Protocol trade marks Declaration of Intent to Use (DIU)