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Zimbabwe (ZW)

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Okt 11, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 17/18)
Intellectual Property Policy Launched
Zimbabwe has launched its National Intellectual Property Policy and Implementation Strategy on June 28, 2018.

The document acknowledges that the country’s economy is in a poor state after many years of misrule. However, the IP Policy is to ensure that the IP governance framework leverages the country’s IP potential for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. It outlines specific objectives which, among others, include raising and consolidating IP awareness; enhancing IP knowledge and professional skills capacities; protecting and enforcing IP; and encouraging and facilitating IP commercialisation.


Mai 17, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 9/17)
Bill on Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes Pending
The Judicial Laws Amendment (Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes) Bill of 2016 is currently pending Zimbabwean parliamentary debate. The purpose of the Bill is to amend sections of the High Court Act, the Magistrates Court Act and the Small Claims Court Act with a view to speed up and to facilitate the settlement of disputes, particularly disputes of a commercial nature.

The Bill proposes that the Intellectual Property Tribunal, which was constituted in terms of the Intellectual Property Tribunal Act, be declared a specialised division of the High Court. The Bill also provides for hearings in court or in chambers to be conducted by way of use of electronic devices or other means of communication subject to agreement between the parties, if a party cannot be physically present at the hearing. This is referred to in the Bill as “virtual sittings”. Provision is also made for the electronic authentication of Court documents and electronic access to records filed with the Courts.

The Bill is perceived as an attempt to bring legal proceedings in Zimbabwe up to speed with the realities of the digital era and to facilitate the settlement of matters in a speedy and effective manner.

Mai 17, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 9/17)
Designation of Zimbabwe in International Registration Possible Now
The Trade Marks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations, 2017 were published in the Government Gazette of April 13, 2017. Both Houses of Parliament passed the resolutions approving the Trade Marks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations. The Regulations came into force on April 13, 2017. By this it is now possible to designate Zimbabwe in an International Registration.

The opposition period for international registrations designating Zimbabwe is 2 months from the date of publication in the Zimbabwe Industrial Property Journal.

Source: Honey & Blanckenberg, Zimbabwe

Apr 12, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 7/17)
Draft of Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations 2017
Zimbabwe Parliament has recently passed resolutions approving the draft Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations. Zimbabwe became a party to the Madrid Protocol in March of 2015.

For the purpose of the Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations, the Trade Marks Regulations 2005 and the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04] (Trade Marks Act) apply (to the extent applicable and with all necessary modifications) to any holder of an international registration designating Zimbabwe, and to any applicant of an international application originating from Zimbabwe.

In the event of conflict between the provisions of the Trade Marks Regulations and Trade Marks Act and those of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations thereunder, the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations shall prevail.

The draft Regulations are now expected to be gazetted as law in a statutory instrument in order for the Protocol to be fully operational in Zimbabwe.

To access the draft, please click here

Source: Manokore Attorneys, Zimbabwe

Jun 28, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 12/16)
Madrid Protocol in TM Amendment Bill Included
The National Assembly on April 14, 2016, approved the General Laws Amendment Bill, which includes amendments to the Trademark Act to incorporate Zimbabwe’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. The Bill now must be prepared for submission to the President and obtain his assent. It will then be published in the Government Gazette.

Upon publication it will become law, but the Ministry of Justice will need to draft regulations to enable implementation of the Protocol by the Registrar of Trade Marks Office. It is not clear how long the process will take. Meanwhile, applications filed cannot be processed until the regulations are published.

Source: Trademark Office Practices Committee—Africa Subcommittee as contributor and Sara Moyo, Honey & Blanckenberg, Zimbabwe as verifier in INTA Bulletin, June 15, 2016, Vol. 71, No. 10

Nov 11, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 17/15)
Declaration to WIPO Deposited
On October 7, 2015, Zimbabwe has deposited the declaration to extend the period within which it must reject international trade mark oppositions if they are not to be automatically allowed. The period will extend from 12 to 18 months under Article 5(2) of the Protocol.

Further, Zimbabwe wants in connection with each international registration in which it is mentioned and in connection with the renewal of any such international registration an individual fee instead of a share in the revenue produced by the supplementary and complementary fees.

The said declaration will enter into force on January 7, 2016.


Jan 13, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 1/15)
Accession to the Madrid Protocol
On December 11, 2014, the Government of Zimbabwe deposited with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) its instrument of accession to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“the Madrid Protocol”). The Madrid Protocol will enter into force, with respect to Zimbabwe, on March 11, 2015.


Legal basis is the Trademarks Act and Regulations in force since 1974.
Zimbabwe becomes a member of the Madrid Protocol as from 11 March 2015.
Trademark protection is obtained by Registration. Zimbabwe recognises and protects well-known marks.
Nice Classification, 8th edition
Registrable as a Trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs,such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, colour combinations, the three-dimensional form of a good or ist packaging and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following Trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.
The application is filed at the Patent Office in Harare.
A separate application has to be filed or each class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney is necessary. PoA needs to be simply signed.
Foreign applicants do need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of 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 once in the Official Gazette prior to registration.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark in Zimbabwe is from 8 to 16 months.
The opposition period is 2 months from the publication date of the application.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
Protection begins with the date of application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years and further renewals are possible.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from expiration date.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
If the trademark has not been used within 5 years from registration, it may be subject to cancellation.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official application fee is USD 200 for one class and USD 200 for each additional class. The publication fee is USD 20. The Registration fee is USD 80.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Jun 26, 2018
Hussein Ranchhod & Co., Harare, Zimbabwe

Okt 16, 2015
Hussein Ranchhod & Co., Harare, Zimbabwe

Sep 27, 2013
Hussein Ranchhod & Co., Harare, Zimbabwe

Scanlen and Holderness

74 Jason Moyo Avenue
263 Harare
Zimbabwe (ZW)

Office of the Registrar of Patents and Trademarks (ZIPO)
Century House East
38 Nelson Mandela Avenue
P.O Box CY 177
Tel +263 4 775 544
Fax +263 4 777 372
Controller: Mr. Fidelis Maredza

African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO)
11 Natal Road

P.O. Box 4228

Tel +263 47 94 0 65 68
Fax +263 47 94 07 2 or 3

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8