Generally, The Applicant cannot obtain trademark registration and protection over the whole United Republic of Tanzania, as Trademark registration and administration are governed separately between the union states.
The United Republic of Tanzania is the union of two independent states, Tanganyika (Tanzania Mainland) and Zanzibar. There are several union matters, however Intellectual Property Rights is not one of them.
Intellectual Property rights are governed separately and independently of each party to the union, as such the company or persons who wants to protect their Intellectual Property have to file separate applications on each of the regions of the union that is to say, one should file an application on Tanzania Mainland and another application in Zanzibar for one to be accorded protection over the United Republic of Tanzania.
The same applies to the trademark registration and protection, there shall be filled two separately applications on both party of the Union for one to be accorded the protection of his Trademark Registration All over the united Republic of Tanzania.
Tanzania is a member of Paris Convention, As such Tanzania, follows the International Classification of Goods and Services on Trademark Registration. A trademark application in Tanzania may be filed in respect of several classes of the international classification.
However, both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar do not allow Multi-class applications. As such, each trademark under each class shall be filled on a separate application.
What can be registered as a trademark in Tanzania?
Word, figurative, three-dimensional and other elements or a combination thereof may be registered as a trademark in Tanzania.
A trademark may be registered in black & white or in any color or combination of colors.
Minimum requirements for filing Trademark Registration applications:
- The Company name and the address of the applicant.
- 1 print of the mark. Only soft copy of the mark shall be sent electronically.
- A list of the requested goods/services in English (Word format) and in accordance with the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purpose of the Registration of Marks
- Priority document, if priority is to be claimed. A certified copy of such a document with its certified translation if not in English.
- Power of Attorney appointing Agent, in the name of the applicant, stamped & simply signed by the authorized person at the company indicating full name, position in the company, date & place of signature (Notarization or Legalization is not required).
Approximate time frame for trademark application prosecution:
The straight-forward Trademark registration process from the date of filing until the issuance of the certificate of registration (if there is no refusal, rejection, amendments or requests for supporting documents) usually completed within 4 months as indicated below:
1) The official filing receipt is issued immediately upon filing, while the official notification of the result of the formal examination and acceptance of the application by the registry is issued within 1 month from the date of filing.
2) The process of advertising the trademark to the public in the government gazette, will take 60 days (2 months) from the date of advertisement.
3) The Certificate of Registration will be issued within 1 months from the date of receipt of the official fees for registration.
Examination of Trademark application Process:
• During the substantive examination of trademark registration application and before the issuance of the Trademark Registrar’s Decision, the applicant has the right to amend, clarify, or correct the materials of the application, including the submission of supplementary materials.
• The list of goods/services may be amended only by deleting items and not by adding.
• Extra supplementary materials may be requested by the Examiner and should be submitted within two months from the date of receipt of the official letter of request, otherwise the trademark application shall be considered as withdrawn.
Grant of Trademark Registration and validity.
Once the Trademark is advertised and no opposition is received by the registrar, within the 2 months of advertisement, the applicant or his agent, shall pay the official fee for trademark registration and upon receipt of the fee the registrar will issue a certificate of trademark registration
A trademark registration in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar is valid for first 7 & 10 years, respectively, from the date of filing the application and may be renewed at the owner’s request for 10 & 7 years periods, respectively, for an unlimited number of times.
A request for trademark renewal should be filed during or before three months of the last year of the trademark validity term. This term may be extended by a six-month grace period on condition of payment of surcharge fee for late renewal. Reinstatement of a lapsed trademark after grace period expiry is not possible.
Cancellation/Invalidation of Trademark registration.
The trademark registration may be cancelled by the owner at any time if he so wishes. But it may be subjected to Cancellation upon third party request application, if it remained Continuously unused within any three years. However, the application for Cancellation/Invalidation can only be filled five years after Trademark’s official registration.
Required Documents For Trademark Registration Renewal:
1) Simply signed & stamped Power of Attorney no Notarization or Legalization Required.
2) Details of the trademark (Number of Registration, full name and address of the Owner) or copy of the Certificate of Registration.
Time frame to obtain the certificates of change of name/address/merger is 1-2 months as from the filing date of the subject recordal.
Required Documents for the Recordial of Change of Name/Address or Merger:
1- Certificate or Extract from the Commercial Register or Article of Association attesting the official change of name/address/merger. All documents should be duly notarized only. Legalization is not required.
2- Power of Attorney in the new name sealed & signed by the authorized person at the company indicating full name, position in the company, date & place of signature (Legalization is not required).
3- List of trademark registrations/application including: trademark name, registration number, registration date & number of classes or services.
• Please note that Recordal of change of name/address/merger is obligatory in Tanzania.
• Time frame to obtain the certificates of change of name/address/merger is 1-2 months as from the filing date of the subject recordal.
Documents Required for Assignment of Trademark Registration:
1. An agreement on assignment of exclusive rights of a trademark registration the copies of the agreement with the original powers can be sent to our office email address.
2. Two Powers of Attorney signed and sealed by either parties, preferably the assignor. (Forms prepared by our office).
Notarization/ legalization are not required.
• Please note that Recordal of assignment is obligatory in Tanzania.
• Time frame to complete the assignment of Trademark Registration is 30 days as from the filing date of the subject recordal of assignment.
At Eden Law Chambers, we assist Clients in registration of Trademarks and provide all Post-registration services such as renewal, assignment and recordal of change of name or Merger. Further, we offer Trademark Watch Services in United Republic of Tanzania and Africa. This article is intended to give you a general overview of the Trademark registration Procedure in United Republic of Tanzania. If you would like further information and clarification on any issue raised in this article, please contact;