Trademarks: ARIPO

General Information

ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization) with a single central registry located in Harare, Zimbabwe facilitates the central filing of patents, designs and trade marks.

ARIPO Members : The designated protocol for trade marks is the Banjul Protocol, which came into effect on 6 March 1997. The said protocol allows ARIPO to register trade marks on behalf of the contracting states. At present, the only states which have acceded to the Banjul Protocol and who thus may be designated in an ARIPO trade mark application, are:-

  • Botswana
  • Namibia
  • Uganda
  • Lesotho
  • Swaziland
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi
  • Tanzania(1)

(1) Registration would be only effective, if any, in the Tanganyika portion. Tanzania maintains two separate registries in its two separate territories Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

The Trade Marks Act in Botswana makes specific provision for the recognition of rights flowing from ARIPO registrations. However, none of the other countries have enacted amendments to their national legislation to give effect to ARIPO registrations.

Accordingly, it is strong recommended that clients should continue to protect their trade marks by filing national applications in each member state.

Important Notes :

In terms of the Banjul Protocol, an application may cover any number of classes of goods or services, and may designate all or some of the contracting states. However, even though it is possible to file an ARIPO application for both goods and services, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia have no provisions for service marks in their national legislation.

Accordingly, it would not be possible to obtain service mark protection in those particular countries through an ARIPO registration.

Filing Requirements

Trademark/Service Mark Requirements

  1. Power of Attorney simply signed.
  2. Details of the Applicant.
  3. Ten prints of the Mark (if it’s a design).
  4. List of Goods/Services.


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