Trademark Update: Burundi

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Burundi Trade Mark Renewal.

Before the enactment of Burundi Law No. 1/13 2009 relating to Industrial Property (“the Burundi IP Law”) in 2009, a trade mark registration remained in force in Burundi indefinitely without requiring renewal of the trade mark.

The Burundi IP Law, which was enacted and came into force on 28 July 2009, introduced a validity period of ten (10) years from the filing date for trade mark registrations.

Accordingly, trade marks may now be renewed for consecutive periods of ten (10) years.

What happens to those trade marks that were registered before 28 July 2009?

Although the Burundi IP Law makes it apparent that these trade marks must be renewed, there is no express provision made for the timeline within which these renewals must be done.

The Registry has however clarified this point and have held that all of the trade marks which have been registered under the old law must be renewed within ten (10) years from the date of enactment of the Burundi IP Law (in other words, on or before 28 July 2019).

Going forward:

Trade mark proprietors with trade mark registrations in Burundi which were filed before 28 July 2009 are advised to apply for the renewal of the trade marks before the deadline of 28 July 2019. The next renewal date would then be ten (10) years from the actual date of renewal.

A grace period of six (6) months is provided for late renewal upon payment of a late renewal fee.

We welcome any questions or comments regarding renewals in Burundi.

By Rinske Nel, Trademark Department, under supervision of Adré Pretorius and Claire Brown, Trademark Attorneys

Trademark Update: Burundi

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