Zambian lawmakers have recently issued the Commencement Orders of four crucial IP Acts, namely;

  1. The Patents Act (No.40 of 2016) – This Act replaces the previous Patents Act (Chapter 400 of the Laws of Zambia)
  2. The Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Act (No.6 of 2016) – The Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Act is a new piece of legislation.
  3. The Industrial Designs Act (No.22 of 2016) – This Act replaces the previous Registered Designs Act (Chapter 402 of the Laws of Zambia)
  4. The Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Expressions of Folklore Act (No.16 of 2015) – Like the Integrated Circuit Act, this Act is brand new.

Although these Acts have come into force, the regulations thereunder, are still to be issued. We will provide an update once the regulations for each Act are issued. In the meantime, however, the regulations under the repealed Patents Act and Registered Designs Act will continue to apply to the new Acts until fresh regulations are issued.

We expect a new Trade Marks Act [Read Jameel Hamid’s update here] to be issued later this year. This will introduce service marks as well as recognition of international registrations under the Madrid Protocol. We will issue notice once the new TM Act comes into force.

For further updates, information and queries on copyright law, trade mark, patent and design filings in Zambia and across Africa, please contact

Nicky Garnett
Partner | Head of Africa Patents
Nthabisheng Phaswana
Partner | Patent Attorney
Dieter Welthagen
Partner | Patent Attorney