Banjul Protocol Update 2020

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On 15 May 2020, the Government of the Republic of Mozambique deposited its instrument of accession to the Banjul Protocol on Marks.  The instrument of accession is pursuant to a previous resolution that was passed by the Council of Ministers of Mozambique on 19 September 2017. The Protocol permits, in terms of Section 11:4, that Mozambique will only become bound to the Protocol 3 months after depositing the instrument of accession, meaning it would have taken effect on 15 August 2020 and will enable the filing of a single trade mark application for one or more members of the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO).

Mozambique as member state of ARIPO, can now be designated in terms of the Protocol by trade mark owners through the ARIPO office. In essence, a trade mark applicant will be able to register their respective trade marks in Mozambique through the ARIPO office, due to the possibility to designate Mozambique.

The accession by Mozambique to the Protocol, brings the total number of member states to 11, although ARIPO currently has 19 member states, only Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania, Namibia, Uganda, Liberia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Sao Tome, and Principe and Mozambique have enacted the Banjul Protocol. It should be noted that, the countries that have incorporated the provisions of the Protocol into their national laws and where an ARIPO trade mark registration may be enforced, is Botswana, Liberia, Zimbabwe and now Mozambique. This results in a more cost-effective choice and simplified process for a future applicant when it comes to filing applications in multiple jurisdictions. This is due to the fact that when a Mozambican lodges a trade mark application, the applicant requires the notarisation of a power of attorney, while the requirements for ARIPO requires a simply signed power of attorney for the trade mark application.