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Trademark Update: Rwanda

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Renewal of trade marks soon due in Rwanda

07 June 2019

The Rwanda Law 31/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property was enacted in 2009 and came into force on 14 December 2009. This legislation has contributed to the consolidation and integration of Intellectual Property laws in the country.

Rwandan trade marks used to be registered indefinitely under old laws. With the introduction of the new law, this position has changed.

Trade mark registrations are now valid for 10 years from their filing date, after which they need to be renewed. Trade marks filed before 14 December 2009 are now due for renewal by 14 December 2019, which is 10 years from the entering into force of the new law.

Although the new law provides for a grace period of ten months for late renewals, we advise trade mark owners who filed before 14 December 2009 to attend to the renewal of their trade marks before 14 December 2019, so as to avoid losing their registrations or paying late renewal fees.

It may be useful to note that applications for renewal may be carried out at any time before 14 December 2019 and will render the registrations valid until 14 June 2029.

By Lana Giliomee, Trademark Department, reviewed by Adré Pretorius, Trademark Attorney