ARIPO recently revised the Implementing Regulations concerning trademarks, patents, and industrial designs, with the amendments entering into force on January 1, 2016.

The definition of a trademark was broadened to include non-conventional trademarks. However, many issues relating to the examination and enforceability of non-conventional marks remain unclear. E-filing of trademark applications is expected to be implemented in the future, with paper filing remaining an option. Another important development is the introduction of a time limit for responding to office actions. The new time limit is set for two months allowing for the standardization of the registration process.

As for patents, applicants will be able to file divisional applications relating to any pending ARIPO patent application, as per the amended Implementing Regulations. An extension of time may be requested, provided that the request complies with the Regulations.

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