Africa Update 2020 – Zimbabwe

Filing Trade Marks through ARIPO as an Alternative

Zimbabwe acceded to the Banjul Protocol on Marks (ARIPO) in 1997. As Zimbabwe has domesticated the Banjul Protocol, an ARIPO registration designating Zimbabwe is afforded the same rights as a national application.

National applications filed at the Zimbabwe Registry often experience delays of some four to eight weeks before an official filing receipt bearing the serial number, is issued.

Filing Trade Marks through ARIPO as an Alternative

Zimbabwe acceded to the Banjul Protocol on Marks (ARIPO) in 1997. As Zimbabwe has domesticated the Banjul Protocol, an ARIPO registration designating Zimbabwe is afforded the same rights as a national application.

National applications filed at the Zimbabwe Registry often experience delays of some four to eight weeks before an official filing receipt bearing the serial number, is issued.

In comparison, once an ARIPO application, designating Zimbabwe, is filed, an official filing receipt should be available within a few days.

In terms of the Banjul Protocol, designated states have a period of nine months within which to refuse an application. Once this period expires and the application has not been refused by the designated state, it is deemed to have been accepted and will be published in the ARIPO Journal. Third parties have three months within which to oppose the application. ARIPO applications designating Zimbabwe are also published in the Government Gazette.

Given the current challenges experienced at the Zimbabwe Registry, we recommend that an application be filed at ARIPO designating Zimbabwe.

Enforceability of an ARIPO registration is dealt with in accordance with the national laws of the designated state.

KEY OPPORTUNITIES & CONCERNS

Opportunities

  • Mineral and natural resources are extensive
  • Fertile agricultural lands can achieve former productivity with good management
  • A well-educated and skilled workforce is available for industrial expansion

Concerns

  • Unrelenting economic depression has created historically high unemployed and a foreign exchange crisis
  • International sanctions are still in place against some government officials
  • The country’s politics is unsettled, security forces resort to violence against political protestors and human rights are problematic

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