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Monday, 14 October 2013

Trademark Protection In Uganda

Trade mark protection:
Provision is made in the Act for the registration of trade marks for goods and for services. However, as the Rules under the old Act are still in force, they make no provision for the classification or registration of services.

The Act also provides for certification marks as well as for defensive registration of trademarks, and for the registration of series of trade marks.
The Act further provides for the register to be divided into two Parts, Part A for trademarks which are distinctive, and Part B for trademarks which are capable of distinguishing.

Protection of well-known marks:
Although no express provision is made for the protection of well-known marks, the Act does provide for a trade mark registration to be removed on the ground that an identical or similar trade mark was, prior to the registration in Uganda, registered in respect of the same or similar goods or services in another country from which the goods or services originate. The application for the removal of the Uganda trade mark must be made within seven years of its registration.

Types of trademarks:
The Act provides for the registration of the following marks:
·          trade marks for goods and services
·          certification trade marks
·          defensive trade marks
·          series of trade marks.

Definition of a mark:
Word and device marks (any sign, mark or combination of signs or marks) are allowed. A sign or mark is defined to include any word, symbol, slogan, logo, sound, smell, colour, brand, label, name, signature, letter, numeral, or any combination of them.

Definition of a trade mark:
A trade mark is defined to mean a sign or mark or combination of signs or marks capable of being represented graphically and capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of another undertaking.

Definition of a certification trade mark:
A mark adapted in relation to any goods to distinguish, in the course of trade, goods certified by a person in respect of origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristic, from goods not certified, will be registrable as a certification mark in Part A or Part B of the register. A certification mark in respect of services is registrable in Part A of the register.

Registration of a series of marks:
Where a person claims to be the owner of several trade marks in respect of the same goods or services, and the trade marks resemble each other but differ in regard to statements of the goods or services, or statements of number, price, quality or place names or in regard to other non-distinctive matter, or as regards colour, the trade marks may be registered as a series in one registration.

Classification:
While neither the Act nor the Rules specifically refer to classification, the International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification) is applied. The goods (which correspond with the class headings of the Nice Classification) are set out in a schedule to the Rules. A single application may cover only one class.