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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How long does it take to get a patent in Tanzania?

The average timeline to secure grant of patent from filing patent application to Registration or Grant of Patent in Tanzania is 3-4 Months

What's the difference between a patent and a trademark?

A patent protects new, non-obvious and industrial applicable inventions whereas trademarks protect branding associated with goods or services.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a source identifier. It can include any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.

Trademarks are also important because they serve as symbols of quality assurance and good will associated with a particular company’s product or service.

Trademarks can consist of a variety of words and symbols. For example, trademarks can include the following:
•    A word or phrase
•    A product shape – such as the shape of the COCA-COLA bottle
•    A number – such as 311

The main feature in all of these trademarks, whether they consist of words, designs, or numbers, is that they identify and distinguish one company’s products and/or services from another’s.

Please contact us if you have any questions about what can constitute a protectable trademark

What is the value of trademark searches in Tanzania?

Before filing an application for a trademark registration, it is prudent for applicants to first conduct a trademark search to identify potential conflicts that might arise as a result of their adoption and use of a desired mark.

What should I do before contacting you about protecting my idea?

If you have any inclination that you may have a patentable invention, it is best to talk to a patent attorney as early in the process as practical. We will work with you in a free initial consultation to help you create a strategic plan and timeline and make sure you are aware of the potential pitfalls to avoid, prior to filing your patent application. Don’t make a mistake and lose your patent rights, talk to us for free and learn what you will need to do to protect yourself. Whether you choose to work with us to implement your plan will then be up to you.

How do I know what form of intellectual property protection is available for my work?

The form of protection depends on the work. Generally, you should seek a trademark for a name, symbol or other device that distinguishes your product. Apply for a patent if you have made an invention or discovery that is new, non-obvious and industrial applicable. If you have produced an original work of authorship in a tangible medium of expression, such as a book, visual artwork or motion picture, copyright is the appropriate protection.

How long can I receive protection for my invention under a patent in Tanzania?

The duration of a patent in Tanzania is 10 years from the date the application was filed which is renewable to another 5 years. The protection is designed to allow the patent owner a limited monopoly on the invention or discovery.

How can I prove that there has been an infringement on my copyright?

If the allegedly infringing work is substantially similar to yours and your work was accessible to others (through publication, for example), you may be able to show that the defendant copied your work. This is a fact-dependent issue. If the defendant independently produced the allegedly infringing work, however, without knowledge of either the existence or the content of your prior work, then the defendant may be able to show that it did not copy your work.

Why protect my Intellectual Property?

Protecting your intellectual property prevents others from taking advantage of your hard work. A registered trade mark or design ensures that you can protect the reputation of your organization, and prevents others from imitating you – profiting from your good customer relationships. A patent stops your competitors from copying your new ideas, and gives you the sole right to produce, sell or import your invention. Protecting your intellectual property is critical to making the most of your hard work.

What is a trademark? What is a service mark? What's the difference between the two?

Trademarks and service marks are the same in that they both are used by a person or company to distinguish what they have to offer from what other people or companies have to offer. The difference is in how or where the mark appears and what is being offered. Trademarks are used to identify a product or goods, while service marks are used to identify a service performed. Trademarks are usually found on things like the labeling of a product or package, whereas service marks are generally found on a sign, website, or other service-related ads.

What types of things can I copyright?

Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

What factors should be considered in choosing the type of business form for my business?

Although there are many important things to think about when choosing a business form, some of the main considerations include your preference of tax treatment, how you intend to capitalize the business, whether you plan to issue stock and trade it publicly, how you intend to structure the management of your business and issues surrounding the liability of the business owners, among other things. It is very important to plan your business and to work closely with someone who can help you choose the business form that will meet your needs.

What is the difference between a joint venture and a partnership?

Joint ventures and partnerships share certain characteristics. A joint venture is a sort of partnership where two or more entities join together for a particular “short term” purpose. In both partnerships and joint ventures, each partner has equal ability to legally bind the entire entity. A partner can represent the entire organization in the normal course of business and his or her legal actions on behalf of the joint venture or partnership create legal obligations.


Though the powers of individual partners in a partnership or joint venture can be limited by agreement, such agreements do not bind third parties. Because business contacts outside of the partnership may have no knowledge of the limitations, they may be entitled to rely on the apparent authority of an individual partner as determined by the usual course of dealing or customs in the trade.

What do I do when I have a question?

You can call our office or email us at info@edenlawchambers.co.tz with any questions in regards to your business or case or on any other matter. We are committed to returning all calls and emails within 24 hours.

What do I do when I have a question?

You can call our office or email us at info@edenlawchambers.co.tz with any questions in regards to your business or case or on any other matter. We are committed to returning all calls and emails within 24 hours.

What factors should be considered in choosing the type of business form for my business?

Although there are many important things to think about when choosing a business form, some of the main considerations include your preference of tax treatment, how you intend to capitalize the business, whether you plan to issue stock and trade it publicly, how you intend to structure the management of your business and issues surrounding the liability of the business owners, among other things. It is very important to plan your business and to work closely with someone who can help you choose the business form that will meet your needs. At Eden Law Chambers we help our clients with set-up of their business in Tanzania and assist them with all compliance requirements before commencing business activities in Tanzania

What is the value of trademark searches in Tanzania?

Before filing an application for a trademark registration, it is prudent for applicants to first conduct a trademark search to identify potential conflicts that might arise as a result of their adoption and use of a desired mark.

How can I prove that there has been an infringement on my copyright?

If the allegedly infringing work is substantially similar to yours and your work was accessible to others (through publication, for example), you may be able to show that the defendant copied your work. This is a fact-dependent issue. If the defendant independently produced the allegedly infringing work, however, without knowledge of either the existence or the content of your prior work, then the defendant may be able to show that it did not copy your work.

Do you charge for consultations?

We want to ensure that our clients are well informed on the legal requirements for their business and their legal rights. Therefore, we offer free consultations to our clients and potential clients.

Is Eden Law Chambers the right law firm for me?

Choosing a law firm to represent or work for you is one of the most important decisions you can make. We understand that your business or your case is important to you and choosing the right firm and attorneys to represent or work on your behalf, could make the difference for your business or your case. Eden Law Chambers is a boutique law firm with three dedicated attorneys with over 12 years of combined experience. Being that we are a boutique firm, we are able to dedicate the appropriate resources and time to manage your business or your case.