News & insights
SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe: Taking a Seat at ARIPO
September 1, 2014
São Tomé and Príncipe became the 19th member of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization on May 19, 2014. Other member states are: Botswana, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Sudan.
Classification: The International Classification of Goods and Services (9th Edition) is followed. A single application may include several classes. However, the same application may not include both goods and services.
Filing Requirements: 1. Power of attorney, simply signed. A separate power is required for each application. 2. Copy of priority document, if priority is claimed, with verified French or English translation. 3. 10 prints of the mark for each application. Items 1 and 3 must be submitted at the time of filing. Document 2 may be submitted within 3 months from filing date.
Opposition: Registrations are published in the Official Gazette. Oppositions may be filed within 6 months from publication date.
Protection Term: Trademark registrations are valid for 10 years from filing date and are renewable for like periods. Documents required for renewal: Power of attorney, simply signed.
Use Requirements: Use of a trademark is not required for registration or renewal of a mark. However, a trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years preceding the date of filing for cancellation.
Assignment: Trademark rights may be assigned with or without the goodwill of the business concerned. Documents required: Power of attorney from the assignee, simply signed; and original or certified copy of deed of assignment.
Change of Name/Address: Documents required: Power of attorney, simply signed; and certificate of change of name, simply signed with verified French or English translation. For a change of address, only a power of attorney, simply signed is required.
Licensing: License recordal is compulsory in order to be effective against third parties. Documents required: Power of attorney, simply signed; and original or certified copy of license agreement.
Merger: Documents required: Power of attorney, simply signed; and original or certified copy of certificate of merger.
Marking: Marking is optional.
Registration Time Frame: The time frame for completing the registration process is 8 to 12 months.
Filing Requirements: 1- Power of attorney, simply signed. 2- 1 set of the specification, claims, and an abstract in English. 3- 1 set of the formal drawings, if available. 4- Copy of priority document, if priority is claimed. 5- Deed of assignment. Item 1 must be submitted at the time of filing or within 2 months from filing date. Items 2 and 3 must be submitted at the time of filing. Item 4 must be submitted within 3 months from filing date. Item 5 can be submitted once available.
Opposition: No provisions.
Examination: As to form, novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability.
Annuities: A maintenance fee is due annually on the anniversary of the filing date.
Protection Term: The term of protection is 20 years from filing date.
Compulsory License: A patent has to be worked. Working of the invention in each designated country is subject to the provisions of the applicable national law.
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