Category: Legal Resources

TRADEMARKS FAQs

Q: WHY SHOULD I REGISTER A TRADEMARK OVER AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

A: Industrial designs provide for protection for a period of a maximum period of 15 years while trademarks provide for protection for a period of 10 years that can be renewed after the lapse of those 10 years over and over.

Q: HOW LONG DOES A TRADEMARK OFFER ITS PROPRIETOR PROTECTION?
A: A successfully registered trademark affords its proprietor rights for a period of 10 years, however the Act provides for the renewals every 10 years..

Q: AT WHAT STAGE ARE OBJECTIONS TO THE REGISTRATION OF A TRADEMARK MADE ?
A:
After the publication of the trademark in the journal, when you are registering the trademark through the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO).

Q: WHAT IS THE BANJUL PROTOCOL?

A: It is a guideline for the centralised registration of Marks in Africa.

Q: WHICH ARE THE PARTICIPATING STATES OF THE BANJUL PROTOCOL?

1. Botswana
2. Kingdom of Eswatini
3. The Gambia
4. Lesotho
5. Liberia
6. Malawi
7. Mozambique
8. Namibia
9. Sào Tomé and Príncipe
10. Uganda
11. United Republic of Tanzania
12. Zimbabwe

Q: WHAT CAN I DO IF SOMEONE IS USING MY TRADEMARK?

A: Approach your Legal Practitioner who will advise on the best course of legal action depending on the infringement.

            This is for general information purposes – seek the advice of a Lawyer.

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TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

This is a means of protecting one’s intellectual property rights as they relate to their brand. A trademark is registered to provide the trademark holder protection under the law so that they can enjoy financial benefit that comes with the protection afforded by the law. A mark in terms of the Trademarks Act [Chapter 26:04] hereinafter referred to as “the Act” is defined as;

Section 2 of the Trade Marks Act defines a mark and trademark as

“mark”

includes a distinguishing guise, slogan, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral or any combination thereof, whether rendered in two-dimensional or three-dimensional form

“trade mark”

means a mark which is used or proposed to be used in relation to goods or services for the purpose of—

(a)  indicating a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person having the right, either as proprietor or as registered user, to use the mark, whether with or without any indication of the identity of that person; and

(b)  distinguishing the goods or services in relation to which the mark is used or proposed to be used, from the same kind of goods or services connected in the course of trade with any other person; but does not include a certification mark;

Trademarks give customers the ability to make swift, sure, and secure purchasing decisions by creating competition that stands to benefit the consumers. To put it another way, a trademark is any sign, term, name, logo, mark, design, or expression that is legally registered to represent a good or goods, service, or company. A trademark is registered to establish and distinguish one’s products and or services apart from others (competitors). Trademarks assist consumers to tell apart certain products and services through the brand.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REGISTER A TRADEMARK?

  1. It protects one’s brand such that in the event that someone uses your logo or brand name, you can pursue legal action against them.
  2. Others are prevented from using your trademark for their products. It is the norm that when registering a mark it must be taken into account that it is not similar to another mark to the extent that they cause confusion to the consumer, and they are not able to tell the products or services

REGISTRATION

Registration of the trademark can be done at either the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO) or the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO).

The process of registration entails:

  1. A trademark search that starts of the process.
  2. Classification of goods and or services (using the classes provided to see which classes the goods fall into).
  3. Submission of the application at the appropriate office.
  4. Examination takes place.
  5. Acceptance of the mark by the relevant office.
  6. Advertisement of the mark.
  7. Period for opposition of registration of trademark.
  8. Trademark registered.

Once registration has been successfully completed, you have the exclusive right to use that mark or name to the exclusion of third parties. Get in touch with your designated agents for the registration of trademarks and enjoy the benefits and protection.

This has been published for general information purposes only – get in touch with a Lawyer.

NEW MARRIAGES ACT- FAQs

Q: WHEN DID THE MARRIAGES ACT [CHAPTER 5:17] COME INTO EFFECT ?

A: The Marriages Act [Chapter 5:17] came into effect on the 16th of September 2022 through the proclamation in SI 164/2022.

Q: IS A CIVIL PARTNERSHIP A MARRIAGE?

A: No. It is a relationship between a man and a woman that are above the age of 18 and have satisfied the requirements laid out in terms of Section 41 of the Marriages Act [Chapter 5:17] .

Q: CAN A HUSBAND OR WIFE IN A CIVIL MARRIAGE PARTAKE IN A CIVIL PARTNERSHIP?

A: Yes – Spouses that are married in terms of the laws of the country can engage in a civil partnership.

Q: CAN A MARRIED PERSON THAT HAS A CIVIL PARTNER BE ARRESTED FOR BIGAMY?

A: No. A party to a civil marriage can engage in a civil partnership and they are not guilty of committing the crime of bigamy, as a civil partnership is not a marriage hence no crime has been committed. Section 41(6) of the Marriages Act [Chapter 5:17];

(6) It is here provided that, by virtue of the partners dissolving their civil partnership, neither of them shall be deemed to be guilty of bigamy contrary to section 104 of the Criminal Law Code if either of them is legally married to someone else.

Q: CAN MY SPOUSE’S CIVIL PARTNER CLAIM THE PROPERTY THAT I OWN IF I AM LEGALLY MARRIED?

A:  The only property shared is that which was acquired by the civil parties during the subsistence of the relationship. Matrimonial property owned by one’s spouse shall not be shared by a civil partner. The Court, when making its order with regard to property sharing upon dissolution of the civil partnership, takes into account the rights and interests of the spouse of the civil partner. Section 41(5) of the Marriages Act states that

(5) Where one of the persons in a civil partnership is legally married to someone else (hereinafter called the “spouse of the civil partner”), a court applying sections 7 to 11 of the Matrimonial Causes Act [Chapter 5:13] to the division, apportionment or distribution of the assets of the civil partnership shall pay due regard to the rights and interests of the spouse of the civil partner and ensure that its order shall not extend to any assets which are proved, to the satisfaction of the court, to be assets properly belonging to the spouse of the civil partner.

 

This is for general information only – please contact a Lawyer for your questions.