Registration of Trademarks in East African Community

Registration of Trademarks in East African Community

  1. I. Introductory note

A trademark is a sign that individualizes the products or services of a given enterprise and distinguishes them from the goods of its competitors”

A trademark may consist of words, designs, letters, numerals or packaging, slogans, devices, symbols, hologram, sound, etc.

To be entitled to protection, there are basically two main characteristics that a trademark should have: it must be distinctive and it should not be deceptive.

If a trademark owner wishes to secure worldwide, or simply an international protection for a trademark, he does have to go to each country separately because trademarks are territorial rights, which basically means that their protection is obtained by national registration. This is to mean that each country has its own legislation which provides proper process, duration, cost, and other requirements.

  1. II.Trademark registration in Burundi

In Burundi, trademark registration involves 2 steps: availability search and registration itself. The former usually takes one week while the latter takes just two or three days. The availability search consists of an initial evaluation and analysis of your trademark by a qualified professional. After evaluating, you will receive a summary of any possibly conflicting trademarks or intellectual property issues that may prevent the trademark registration request from being approved. While not required, we highly recommend that clients complete the trademark comprehensive study.

To submit the registration request, one must supply:

  1. A copy of the mark in a format that makes the copy possible
  2. A brief description of the products or services the trademark is intended or is used with
  3. The class or the classes in which the registration is requested[1]
  4. Detailed identity of the applicant (the owner of the trademark) including name, full address, country of location, telephone, email address, website if applicable).
  5. A simply signed Power of attorney mentioning the name of the lawyer who will handle the procedure.
  6. If Convention priority is claimed: a certified copy of the basic application, together with a verified French translation thereof.

The cost (including professional and official fees) is split as following:

  • USD 100 for availability search (if applicable)
  • USD 400 for registration proper of a trademark in one class.

For each additional class, there is an additional payment of USD 100.

  1. III.Trademark registration in Rwanda

In some extent, the requirements are similar:

  1. Full name, street address and description of the applicant (including trading style, if any, and state/country of incorporation, if incorporated)
  2. List of goods and/or services
  3. A simply signed power of attorney
  4. 10 prints of the mark
  5. Printing bloc
  6. If Convention priority is claimed: a certified copy of the basic application, together with a verified French translation thereof.
  7. The class or classes in which registration is requested

The costs are variable from a lawyer to another. The average overall cost is USD 1100 for one trademark and in one class. For each additional class, it is required on average an additional amount of USD 130. Note that this cost includes official fees and professional cost, as well.

The estimated process duration is 10 months.

  1. IV.Trademark registration in Tanzania

The registration of a trademark in Tanzania assumes the following:

  1. Name and Address of applicant
  2. Nationality
  3. Copy of the trademark
  4. Class and a description of goods or services
  5. Power of Attorney

As for the pricing, the average cost is USD 715 for one trademark registration in one class. And for each additional class, there is an additional payment of USD 400.

The minimum duration is 12 months.

  1. V.Trademark registration in Kenya

In order to register a trademark in Kenya, you require the following:

  1. The full name and address of the entity which will own the mark.
  2. 12 prints of the mark.
  3. A translation into English of all words in the mark which are in any other language.
  4. A Power Of Attorney
  5. Description of the goods or services with which the trademark is used
  6. Class or classed in which registration is requested.

Estimated duration: 10 months

Average prices: USD 960 for one trademark registration in one class and USD 580 for each additional class. The prices include official and professional fees.

  1. VI. Trademark registration in Uganda

The general information required for filing a trademark application:

For individual applicant

  1. Name of applicant
  2. Address of Applicant
  3. Nationality of Applicant
  4. Profession or Nature of Business
  5. The trademark to be applied
  6. Print of the trademark
  7. List of Goods/Services
  8. Class or classes involved

For corporate applicant:

1. Name of applicant

2. Address of applicant
3. Type of incorporation

4. Country of incorporation
5. Nature of business
6. The trademark to be applied
7. Print of the trademark

8. List of Goods/Services
9. Class or classes

Time Frame for registration:
A registration process would take six months on average if all necessary documents are obtained and the fees paid, unless there are unexpected delays.

Average prices (professional and official): USD 900 for one trademark registration in one class and US 850 for each additional class.

[1] There is international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of trademarks and service marks. It was established by an Agreement concluded at a Diplomatic Conference held in Nice in 1957: the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks. For instance, the class 42 is concerned with scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software. The class 38 is concerned with telecommunication services.