First to Use
What is First-to-Use?
This means that the first person / entity that actually made use of the mark in connection with the goods and/or services for which they’re applying, will obtain registration and may prevent others from using it. This is known as First to Use.
Common law rights protect the owners of unregistered trade marks, and First to Use is generally superior to First to File, however, it is easier to enforce registered trade marks than common law.
Most African countries are First to File, but most of these allow challenges based on earlier goodwill obtained through use.
Some of the First to Use Countries in Africa
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)