ANGOLA IP GUIDESouthern Africa

Intellectual Property Guide Angola
The People’s Republic of Angola is located on the west coast of southern Africa, bordered in the north and north-east by the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the east side by Zambia, on the south by Namibia, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes the enclave of Cabinda, which is physically separate from Angola proper and is surrounded on its landward side by the People’s Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Area: 1 246 700 km2

Population: 30 million

Capital: Luanda

Currency: New Kwanza (NKz)

GDP: $ 124 billion (2018)

Trade Marks

Angola is a member of the Paris Convention and of WTO/TRIPS.

Provision is made (chapter IV) for the registration of trade marks for goods and for services, and for collective marks. The Act refers to industrial, trade and service marks without, however, defining these classes of marks.

Express provision is made for the registration in a single registration of a series of marks from the same enterprise or establishment, whether the same or different from one another, and irrespective of the indication of products. No express provision is made for defensive marks.

The Act also provides for the registration of awards (chapter V), of establishment names and emblems (chapter VI), and of indications of origin (chapter VII).

The Act expressly refers to foreign marks, by stating that foreign marks will be registrable provided the mark relates to trade, industrial or professional activity legitimately carried out in the country of origin.

Patents

Angola is a member of the Paris Convention and of WTO/TRIPS.

Provision is made (chapter IV) for the registration of trade marks for goods and for services, and for collective marks. The Act refers to industrial, trade and service marks without, however, defining these classes of marks.

Express provision is made for the registration in a single registration of a series of marks from the same enterprise or establishment, whether the same or different from one another, and irrespective of the indication of products. No express provision is made for defensive marks.

The Act also provides for the registration of awards (chapter V), of establishment names and emblems (chapter VI), and of indications of origin (chapter VII).

The Act expressly refers to foreign marks, by stating that foreign marks will be registrable provided the mark relates to trade, industrial or professional activity legitimately carried out in the country of origin.

Designs

Angola is a member of the Paris Convention. Design protection or protection for a utility model may be obtained by way of a national filing. Since Angola is a member of the Paris Convention, priority may be claimed.

Although it is not entirely clear, from the wording of the law, whether all provisions stipulated in respect of industrial designs will also apply to utility models, it seems that a similar registration process and outcomes are contemplated.

The effect of a design registration (and probably also a utility model registration) is to confer on the owner of a design or a model, throughout Angola, the exclusive right to use the design or model by way of the manufacture, sale or exploitation of the article to which the design or model is to be applied.

Copyright

Angola is not a member of the Berne Convention.

The law protects original literary, artistic and scientific works. The following are specifically mentioned:

  • Books, pamphlets, journals, magazines and other written material;
  • Conferences, lessons and similar works both written and oral;
  • Dramatic works and musical dramas;
  • Musical works with or without words, whether written or not, provided they are registered;
  • Choreographic works and pantomimes;
  • Cinematographic works, television works, sound and video recordings and others not known, obtained through similar or computing processes;
  • Journalistic works signed and characterized by a personal intervention of the author such as opinion articles, chronicles, analyses, remarks, essays, investigative reporting and interviews;
  • Drawings, paintings, sculptures, engravings, lithographs, tapestries, ceramic and tile works, architecture, stylistic or artistic fashion creations;
  • Photographic or similarly processed works;
  • Works of applied art, both handcrafted and obtained via industrial processes, drawings or models, including the design that constitutes the artistic creation, regardless of its respective industrial property protection;
  • Illustrations, maps, geographical charts, projects, plans, drafts and visual art related to geography, topography, architecture, engineering, landscaping, scenography, urbanism and sciences in general, whether or not supported in any manner, including computer-based support; l) Computer programs whether or not linked to a network;
  • Parodies and other literary or musical works/ compositions, even if inspired by the theme or cause of another work.

Derivative works are also protected:

  • translations, adaptations, transpositions, arrangements
  • compilations of works, anthologies, encyclopaedias.

Plant Breeders' Rights

Currently, no legislative provision for plant breeders’ rights or other sui generis protection for plants is available in Angola.

Company Law

There are two forms of companies commonly used by foreign investors:

  • Sociedades por quotas (SpQs), which are similar to private limited companies. SpQs are companies in which the share capital is divided into quotas and the shareholders are jointly and severally liable for their capital investment. SpQs must have at least two shareholders.
  • Sociedades anónimas de responsabilidade limitada (SARLs), which resemble joint stock companies. SARLs are companies in which the capital is held by its shareholders and divided into shares, with each shareholder owning a number of shares proportionate to their investment. The liability of each shareholder is limited to the amount of their capital share. SARLs must have at least five shareholders.

Competition Law

Legislation

Angola currently has no national competition law or policy in place. However, in certain instances specific sector or industry legislation makes provision for competition related aspects.

Mergers

Further to the paragraph above, competition law is not regulated in Angola and there are, accordingly, no specific merger controls in place.

Restrictive Practices

Although competition in general is not regulated in Angola, certain types of cartel conduct may fall foul of industry or sector specific legislation.

Abuse of Dominance

Single firm conduct is not regulated in Angola. There is, accordingly, no abuse of dominance provisions to contend with.

Sanctions

As Angola has no competition legislation and/or policy in place, there are no specific sanctions in regard to competition law.

Consumer Protection

Consumer protection is regulated by Angola’s Consumer Protection Act Law no. 15/03, in conjunction with certain provisions of Angola’s Constitution.

Some of the key provisions relating to consumer protection are as follows:

  • A consumer who purchases real estate is entitled to a minimum guarantee of five years in respect of such property.
  • All goods and services must comply with and meet the legitimate expectations of consumers.
  • A supplier of mobile non-consumable goods must ensure that such good will perform the functions for which it was purchased for a period of not less than one year.
  • Should a supplier become aware that its goods pose any threats to the well being of consumers, such supplier must immediately notify the competent authorities of the nature of the threats posed by the goods. The supplier is also obligated to notify the consumers through notices in the media.

Data Protection

Data protection is regulated by the Lei de Protecção de Dados pessoais (Personal Data Protection Law) of 2011 (PDA). The PDA regulates how the collection, transfer and use of a data subject’s personal data must be performed, so as to avoid any violation of the data subject’s rights to, among other things, privacy.

Dispute Resolution

Although the Constitution provides for the creation of a Constitutional Court, it has yet to be officially created and thus the Supreme Court is the highest court and the temporary guardian of the Constitution. The Supreme Court (known locally as Tribunal Supremo) has constitutional jurisdiction, appellate jurisdiction over lower courts as well as original jurisdiction. The lower courts are made up of both provincial courts and municipal courts and specialist courts exist in respect of the military and financial regulations.

Employment Law

Governing legislation

General Employment Law, approved by Law 2/00 of 11 February 2000.

Particulars of employment

Written employment agreements are only required for temporary employment agreements and employment agreements entered into with foreign employees.

Forms of contracts

  • Permanent contracts may include a 60-day probation period which the parties by written agreement can either waive or reduce. It may be extended to a maximum of four months for highly skilled employees who perform complex work and to a maximum of six months for employees who perform work of a highly technical complexity or who have management functions for which a high level of academic degree is required.
  • Fixed term contracts for a specific period to fulfil temporary needs of the employer must be in writing, foresee the specific reasons which it was granted and its duration may vary between 6-36 months. Probation shall only exist if established in writing, the duration cannot exceed fifteen days for non-qualified employees or thirty days for qualified employees and either party may terminate the employment contract without prior notice, indemnification or justification.

Exchange Control

All foreign exchange transactions are subject to compliance with the exchange control regulations imposed by the Angolan National Bank (BNA). Under such regulations there are limitations on the amount of currency that can be transferred out of Angola.

While there are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into the country, transferring the Angolan Kwanza out of the country is restricted.

All import, export and re-export of money may only be undertaken by financial institutions duly authorised to exercise foreign exchange by the BNA.

Tax Law

Income tax

Liability for income tax in Angola is determined by the source of the income. Employment income tax is due on any income resulting from personal services rendered in Angola, by employed or self-employed individuals, who are directly or indirectly paid by an Angolan based entity and is subject to a monthly withholding tax, to be made by the employer and paid to the tax authorities on a monthly basis.

Types of taxable income

Types of income that are subject to tax include employment income, business and professional income, investment income and capital gains (although some exemptions may apply on interest and capital gains).

Tax rates

Resident companies are taxed on their worldwide income at a rate of 35%. The branch of a non-resident company is taxed only on its Angolan revenues at a rate of 35%.

Employees are subject to personal income tax at a progressive rate up to a maximum rate of 17%. Independent professionals are subject to tax at a flat rate of 15% on 70% of total income received or at a flat rate of 20% if accounting records are in order.

Double taxation treaties

At the date of publication, Angola has not concluded any double tax agreements.

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