ARIPO has announced that The Gambia deposited its instrument of accession to the Banjul Protocol on 3 May 2021
Just under a year since the accession of Mozambique (which we reported on here), ARIPO has just announced that The Gambia has also acceded to the Banjul Protocol (the instrument which provides for the registration of trade marks at ARIPO), bringing the total membership of this Protocol up to twelve countries.
According to the announcement, The Gambia deposited its Instrument of Accession with ARIPO on 3 May 2021 and as such it will be possible to designate The Gambia in ARIPO trade mark applications from 3 August 2021.
Unfortunately The Gambia’s Industrial Property Act has not been amended to make provision for the recognition of ARIPO registrations and due to the dualist system of laws in place there, domestication of international treaties is required for them to form part of the national laws. As such, despite a general provision in the Act that any international treaties in respect of industrial property to which The Gambia is a party shall apply automatically, it is currently doubtful whether ARIPO registrations would be enforceable in The Gambia. We hope that this will be addressed in the next three months, as well as that the Registry will prepare to examine ARIPO applications within the timeframe allowed and on the same level as national applications.
It is clear that the ARIPO system is gaining momentum all the time, which is assisting greatly with a move towards regional integration in Africa. We applaud the hard work of the ARIPO Secretariat and look forward to more countries joining soon.
View this article in World Trademark Review here.
By Adré Pretorius, Trademark Attorney.