Africa Update 2020 – Rwanda

Trade Mark Renewal Exercise – Deadline Extended

In accordance with Rwanda Law No. 31/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property (“the Law”) of 14 December 2009, all trade marks registered in terms of the old 1963 Act, i.e., trade marks registered before 14 December 2009, were to be renewed before the 14th of December 2019, to ensure those marks remain both valid and enforceable.

The Rwanda Development Board has since issued a waiver notice dated 31 January 2020 allowing trade mark owners a 10 month grace period to renew trade marks that were not renewed by the deadline of 14 December 2019. Therefore, the deadline for the renewal of trade marks registered before 14 December 2009 expires on 13 October 2020.

KEY OPPORTUNITIES & CONCERNS

Opportunities

  • A growing ICT sector and continuing foreign investments are facilitated by new industrial parks and industrial sector policy reform
  • Agribusiness has solid foundation in country’s dominant agriculture sector
  • The tourism industry is founded on Rwanda’s famous gorillas

Concerns

  • Landlocked country has erratic transportation links through some unstable neighbouring countries
  • Largely rural peasant population requires training to meet employment demands of a modernising economy
  • Success at creating a services economy and other economic policies depends on a vibrant East African Community

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