Malawi is a member of the Paris Convention, ARIPO (Harare Protocol), the PCT and the WTO/TRIPS. Malawi is also a member of the Strasbourg Agreement on the International Patent Classification.
Patent protection is available by way of a national filing or via an ARIPO application designating Malawi. The Act expressly recognises the Harare Protocol of ARIPO and provides that a patent granted under the Protocol (and designating Malawi) shall have effect in Malawi as if it were granted under the Act. It would appear, therefore, that valid patent protection could be obtained via an ARIPO application designating Malawi.
However, Malawi has not yet promulgated regulations to implement the Harare Protocol. Accordingly, there is uncertainty regarding the enforceability of rights obtained through the filing of an ARIPO application designating Malawi.
Malawi has not yet amended its laws to provide for the PCT. Accordingly, it is not certain whether valid patent protection can be obtained via a PCT national phase application in Malawi.