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IP Update: Amendments to the Banjul Protocol on Marks

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ARIPO Administrative Council approves amendments to the Banjul Protocol on Marks

22 February 2018

A review of the Banjul Protocol on Marks, the treaty that makes provision for the registration of trade marks with the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO), has been pending for some time, with discussions in this regard having been removed from the agenda at a number of previous meetings of the Administrative Council. However, this has now finally been finalised.

The ARIPO office posted a notice on its website late in December, setting out details of the amendments that came into force on 1 January 2018.

Most of the amendments are technical ones that simply clarify the contents of certain sections or amend certain internal procedures. One positive substantive amendment that was done relates to priority claims, and extends such claims not only to applicants for earlier applications, but also their successors in title.

Another welcome substantive amendment relates to oppositions, with the position being clarified regarding the opposition term following publication and the procedure for filing an opposition.

Von Seidels, through our associated Namibian office, submitted a number of comments and suggestions regarding possible amendments intended to clarify or improve a number of administrative and substantive provisions, some of which have been incorporated in the amendments, and we will continue to push the ARIPO office for further amendments that would make filing ARIPO applications simpler and more attractive for rights holders.

Written for and published by World Trademark Review Daily.

By Adré Pretorius, Trademark Attorney at Von Seidels.

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