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Monday, 14 October 2013

Application process, and documents required in Trademark Registration

Application:
An application is filed with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), headed by the Registrar General and operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
The following information and documents are required:
  • Full particulars of the applicant
  • Power of attorney (simply signed), to be submitted with the application
  • List of the goods or services for which registration is sought
  • The trademark, with a print of the mark if it is not a standard word mark.
Examination/procedure:
An application is examined as to formal and substantive requirements. If the application is accepted either with or without conditions, the application is published in the Gazette. If no opposition is filed within a period of 60 days, the registration certificate will be issued.

Opposition:
The Act makes provision for opposition within 60 days from publication of the acceptance. The opposition must be made in writing in the prescribed manner, and set out the grounds of opposition.

The copy of the opposition must be sent to the applicant, who must respond by lodging a counter-statement in the prescribed manner, setting out the grounds on which he relies for his application. If he does not send a counter-statement, he will be deemed to have abandoned his application. The Rules make provision for further evidence to be lodged.

After all evidence has been lodged, the Registrar will hear argument from both parties and thereafter make a decision as to whether registration will be permitted. Any party may appeal to the court against this decision.

Duration and renewal:
A trade mark registration is effective for an initial period of seven years from the filing date of the application, and is thereafter renewable for consecutive periods of 10 years. Renewal must take place within the three months before, or within one month after, expiry of the preceding term. If the renewal fee is not paid within a month after expiry, the mark will be removed from the register. It may, however, be restored upon application in the prescribed form and upon payment of a renewal and restoration fee.

Use requirement and cancellation:
A registered trade mark is vulnerable to cancellation if it has not been used for a continuous period of three years.

Rights conferred by registration:
The registration of a trade mark in Part A of the register gives the owner the exclusive right to the use of the trade mark in relation to the relevant goods or services. The owner also gets the right to institute court proceedings against any person who infringes this exclusive right.
The registration of a trade mark in Part B of the register gives the owner similar exclusive rights, except that the owner will not be entitled to an injunction (interdict) in certain circumstances.