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Jogo Tabu & Company Advocates
Kampala, Uganda (UG)
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Uganda (UG)

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Apr 20, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 7/16)
New Intellectual Property Law in Force
The Ugandan Industrial Property Act of 2014 is now in force despite the fact that no Regulations have been passed. The new law does not concern trademarks. It refers to patents, utility models, industrial designs and so-called 'technovations', which are defined as solutions to specific problems in the field of technology.

For more information, please check here


Apr 05, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 6/16)
List of Trademarks Eligible to Be Renewed
The Ugandan Trademarks registry has published a list of trademarks eligible to be renewed in 2016-2017. The list of trademarks can be accessed here

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

Apr 04, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 6/11)
Goods & Services Specification Changed
The Trade Marks Registry in Uganda permits now for trademark application to use either the international class headings or the applicants choice of wording.

Before, the Registry insisted that specifications of goods and services be worded exactly in accordance with the class headings as set out in the 9th Edition of the International (Nice) Classification.

Source: Spoor & Fisher, South Africa

The principal law governing Trademarks in Uganda is the Trademarks Act No. 17 of 2010. While Uganda is not a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol (Madrid System) that makes it possible to protect a mark in large number of countries by obtaining international registration that has effect in each of the designated contracting parties, Uganda is a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883. Uganda is also a party to the TRIPS Agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights which is not only the first comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property but also the first international agreement that sets forth minimum standards of protection for several areas of intellectual property. Trademark protection is obtained by registration. Trademarks must therefore be registered locally to be protected.
For the purposes of trademark registration, the goods and services are classified according to the 9th edition of the International classification of goods and services under the Nice Agreement 1957. The classification was incorporated in the Trademarks Act No. 17 of 2017 in the 2nd Schedule thereof.
Any word, symbol, slogan, logo, sound, smell, colour, brand, label, name, signature, letter, numerical or any combination of them which is capable of distinguishing goods or services and is capable of graphical representation or is distinctive is registrable.
Thus the formal requirements for a trademark to be eligible for registration are;
a) It must be distinctive in order to enable registration under part A and capable of distinguishing goods and services to enable registration under part B.
b) It must not be descriptive.
c) It must relate to particular goods or services.
The following trademark types are registrable; service marks, associated marks, defensive marks, collective mark and certification marks.
A person who intends to apply for the registration of a trademark must first carry out a search to ascertain whether the trademark exists in the register upon payment of a prescribed fee.
A trademark application is then filed upon payment of application fees. The application should contain the mark proposed to be used, the class of goods or services, the name, address and the signature of applicant. Where the applicant is a foreign company/person, a power of attorney (simply-signed) or Form of Authorization (TM. NO. 1) to an Agent, who must be an advocate of High Court, is required. The filled application is then filed at the Trademarks Registry.
The application is then examined by the Registrar to determine its inherent registrability and conflict with prior existing registrations and or applications. Where the application is accepted by the Registrar of Trademarks, the application is then advertised in the Uganda Gazette for a period of 60 days. If there is no objection after the expiration of 60 days of the advertisement, the Registrar shall upon payment of the prescribed fee by the applicant enter the trademark in the register and issue a certificate of registration.
A separate application is required for each class of goods.
Where registration of a trademark is not completed within twelve months from the date of the application by reason of default on the part of the applicant, the registrar is enjoined to give notice in writing to the applicant or his authorized agent at his or her trade or business address of the non-completion. The registration is deemed to be abandoned if it is not completed within 14 days from the date when the notice was sent or after such further time as the Registrar may have allowed.
Foreign applicants need a domestic registration.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trade mark in Uganda is about four months. The process can be longer when the application for registration is being opposed.
Any person who has any ground of objection may, within 60 days from the date of publication of an application in the Gazette, give notice to the Registrar of the objection to the registration. The notice of objection must be in writing and must state the grounds of objection. The party seeking to oppose registration may apply for extension of time if by the time of such application the registration has not been completed.
The term of a trademark is 7 years from filing date and is renewable every ten years upon payment of the prescribed fee.
The application for renewal can be made at any time not more than three months before the expiration of the last registration of a trademark. After this, the non-payment of the mark is published in the Gazette.
If within six months from the date of expiry of the trademark it is not renewed, a penalty for late renewal shall be paid.
For renewal, it is not necessary to proof use of the trademark.
The Grace Period for renewal is one month after expiry. From the publication in the Gazette of the fact of non-payment, the registered proprietor is given a one month grace period within which an application and payment of fees for renewal can be made. There is an additional month to deliver the renewal fee.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
There is no use requirement for a registered trade mark to be used in order to prevent its removal from the Register. Any registered trade mark may be removed from the Register on request of any aggrieved person, if it is proved that on application there was no bona fide intention of use of the mark and that the mark is not actually used, or that there has been no bona fide use of the mark for five consecutive years up to one month before the filing of the request for removal, unless it is proved that the non-use is due to special circumstances in the trade. Permitted use by a registered user is deemed use by the registered proprietor of the mark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is USD 150 for each class in addition to official search fee of USD 65 per class. The publication fee is not fixed as it depends on the number of words or the amount of space the advert will take in the Gazette. The registration fee is USD 250.

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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.

Aug 20, 2019
Angualia Busiku & Co. Advocates, Kampala, Uganda

Jun 30, 2017
Angualia Busiku & Co. Advocates, Kampala, Uganda

Mai 30, 2016
JAH & CO. IP, Doha, Qatar  

Mrz 01, 2011
Sebalu & Lule Advocates, Kampala, Uganda

Feb 24, 2011
Frank, Jack & Associates, Kampala, Uganda

Jogo Tabu & Company Advocates

Plot 61-67 Nkrumah Rd
256 Kampala
Uganda (UG)

Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
Registrar General's Office
Georgian House, Plot. 5, George Street
P.O. Box 6848
Kampala, Uganda

Tel +256 414 233 219
Fax +256 414 250 712

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