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Seychelles (SC)

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05-13-2015 (Newsletter Issue 7/15)
Accession to WTO
On March 25, 2015, President James Michel signed the "Instrument of Acceptance" of Seychelles' Accession Protocol, confirming its membership terms, at a plenary meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles. According to WTO rules, the 30-day countdown to its WTO membership was activated on March 27, 2015 and Seychelles officially became a WTO member on April 26, 2015. On April 26, 2015, Seychelles became the 161st WTO member.

Seychelles shall now have access to the markets of all 160 WTO members with the accession.

Source: www.wto.org


03-31-2015 (Newsletter Issue 5/15)
New Industrial Property Act in Effect Now
The new Industrial Property Act 2014 came into effect on March 1, 2015 in the Seychelles.

As for trademarks, Convention priority can now be claimed, the initial registration term goes up from seven years to the more usual ten, and there is provision for collective marks and geographical indications.

Design protection is now possible, and the term is five years, extendible for two further five-year periods. There is also provision for the registration of utility models and original layout designs of integrated circuits. In each case the protection term is ten years.

For further information, please click here

Source: Spoor & Fisher Jersey


02-25-2015 (Newsletter Issue 3/15)
New Industrial Property Act Passed
The Seychelles Parliament recently passed the new Industrial Property Act 7 of 2014, which makes important changes in respect of the protection of Trade Marks, Industrial Designs and Patents. The new Act will come into force from March 1, 2015.

Most significant changes are:
- The registration of defensive marks has fallen away under the new Act
- Collective marks, three dimensional marks, geographical indicators and trade names have been added
- Trademarks are valid for a period of 10 years from the filing date of the application
- Trademarks are renewable for consecutive periods of 7 years
- A 6 month grace period is allowed for the renewal of a registration, along with the payment of a penalty fee
- One exception to the duration of registration is that the term of a registered geographical indication will be indefinite, provided that the specific characteristics, quality or reputation which were the basis for the grant of protection continue to exist
- A registration will become vulnerable to cancellation where it has not been used by the registered owner or a licensee for an uninterrupted period of 3 years
- Direct trade mark infringement is provided by the new Act in the case of identical or similar marks and identical or similar goods or services where there is a likelihood of confusion, but also provides for protection against dilution of well-known marks
- A likelihood of confusion shall be presumed in the case of use of an identical mark for identical goods or services
- Allowance for use of a registered mark in comparative advertising, provided that use of the mark is not of such a nature as to deceive the public and does not constitute unfair competition.

For more information on the Industrial Property Act 7 of 2014, please click here

Source: www.adamsadams.com


Legal basis is the Industrial Property Act, 2014, the Industrial Property (Marks) Regulations, 2014 and the Industrial Property (Geographical Indication) Regulations, 2014.
Seychelles is a member of the Paris Convention since 2002.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration and the Act permits the registration of well-known marks as defensive trade marks. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
Seychelles has its own classification of goods and services, which however closely follows the Nice Classification.
Registerable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of another, including devices, brands, headings, labels, tickets, names, signatures, words, letters, numerals, or any combination thereof as well as three-dimensional marks.
The following types of trademarks are registrable: trademarks, service marks, certification marks, series marks, geographical indications and defensive registrations of well-known marks.
The trademark application or an application for the registration of a geographical indication is filed at the Trademark Registration Division, Department of Legal Affairs.
Seychelles follows a single class filing system, therefore a separate application has to be filed for each class.
An application is filed with the Registrar and foreign applicants need a local agent. A notarised power of attorney is required as well as a certified copy of the priority document when applicable.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination as to distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use. Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the official gazette prior to registration.
Any interested party may oppose an application within a period of two months from the date of publication.
The approximate time frame for completing the trademark registration process in Seychelles is approximately 12 to 24 months (depending on the backlog at the Ministry).
The Act recognizes prior use and provides that the Registrar may, in certain circumstances, permit the registration of trade marks that are identical or similar, in respect of the same goods or services in the name of different proprietors where they have been used by a different person prior to the date of application of the later mark.
National:
The opposition period is 2 months from the publication date of the application.

Opposition against designation of IR Mark
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol
Protection begins with the date of application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 7 years from the expiry date of the original registration or last renewal. It is required to submit a notarised power of attorney when applying for renewal.
Trade mark registrations obtained under the old Act must, on expiry of the term, be renewed in accordance with the new Act 2014.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from the expiration date of the registration.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
A registration will become vulnerable to cancellation where it has not been used by the registered owner or a licensee for an uninterrupted period of 3 years.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official application fee is USD 200 for one class and USD 170 for each additional class.

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Common law rights are recognised in Seychelles. Therefore, a person who has acquired a reputation in a mark may prevent others from using such mark or any similar mark which may mislead, confuse or deceive the public and damage that person’s reputation (passing-off). Therefore, the owner of a registered trade mark may not interfere with or restrain the use of an identical or similar mark by any other person, if such use pre-dates the use or registration of the registered mark.

The use of the symbol ® is optional in Seychelles.
Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Search type First class Add. class
Word Mark Search (availability) 500,00 € 450,00 € 
Word Mark Search (identical) 450,00 € 400,00 € 

The Prices above are SMD Group Search Fees
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
02-22-2017
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

09-29-2015
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

07-18-2014
Brian Bacon Inc., Cape Town, South Africa
DM Kisch Inc., Sandton, South Africa



Trademark Registration Division, Department of Legal Affairs
1st Floor, Independence House
P.O. Box 142
Victoria, Mahe,
Seychelles
Tel +248 422 4904
Fax +248 422 5764
Mail regdiv@registry.gov.sc
Registrar: Mr. Leslie Boniface