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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mrz 29, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 6/17)
Sao Tome and Principe
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New Industrial Property Law in Force

A new Industrial Property Code Decree-Law No. 23/2016 is in force since February 9, 2017 in São Tomé and Príncipe.

The new law makes an extensive revision of the IP law that existed for more than twelve years in Sao Tome e Principe (Law No. 4/2001, of 31 December and Decree 6/2004 of 30 June) and adopts many concepts and solutions that are enshrined in the current Portuguese law and in European law. Among the changes introduced by the new law we point out the following:

In general
- Better organization and systematization of all matters covered by the law;
- Clarification of the rules on the right of priority and administrative procedures;
- The general term for oppositions or defenses is set at three months, extendable for another month;
- The new possibility of an administrative modification of decisions in the SENAPI, within three months after publication of a decision;
- A detailed definition of regimes for invalidation and revocation (in terms that follow closely the ones found in the Portuguese law)
- The new possibility of re-establishment of rights (restitutio in integrum);
- The new possibility of revalidation of expired rights due to lack of payment of fees;
- The adoption of new industrial property rights: utility models, supplementary protection certificates, topographies of semiconductor products, awards and logos;
- The adoption of criminal sanctions for the infringement of industrial property rights.

In the area of trademarks
- The recognition of three-dimensional marks and sound marks;
- The redefinition and clarification of the grounds for refusal of registrations, with a legal definition of the imitation concept;
- The special protection granted to well-known marks and marks with reputation in Sao Tomé and Príncipe or “in the World”;
- The acceptance of declarations of consent;
- The registration duration remains in 10 years but counted from the date of grant;
- The requests for revocation for lack of use are to be filed at the IP Office (SENAPI);
- The adoption of explicit provisions recognizing and regulating regional marks registered under ARIPO as well as international trademarks designating Sao Tome e Príncipe under the Madrid Protocol.

For more information, please see here

Source: Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados, Portugal