ARIPO Trade Marks

Trade Mark Information

The relevant protocol on trade marks for ARIPO is the Banjul Protocol, which came into effect on 6 March 1997. The 13 States that have acceded to the Banjul Protocol are:

  • Botswana, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, eSwatini, Sao Tomé & Principe, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe

At present, Botswana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe and Zimbabwe are the only countries that have incorporated the provisions of the Banjul Protocol into their national laws and are therefore the only member states in which an ARIPO trade mark registration may be enforceable. The other member states that have acceded to the Banjul Protocol do not have legislation in place to recognise ARIPO registrations, although some of these Registries do consider ARIPO registrations when determining whether a national mark is registrable (either at examination or opposition stage).

Considering the above, the most comprehensive yet cost-effective way of protecting trade marks in the ARIPO member states is by filing an ARIPO application designating Botswana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe and Zimbabwe and filing applications through the national registries of the other member states. However, the other member states should also be considered for designation if they could be of interest in future, even if such designations are only to prevent abusive registrations.

PLEASE NOTE: The ARIPO search currently only covers ARIPO applications and registrations and will not reveal marks registered nationally in member states. In order to determine whether a mark is available in a specific member state to be designated, a separate search must be conducted in the member state concerned.


General ARIPO Information

International / Regional Conventions:

  • Berne Convention (all countries are members except Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Uganda)
  • Hague Agreement on Designs (only Ghana, Namibia and Rwanda are members)
  • Madrid Agreement on Marks (Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and eSwatini are members)
  • Madrid Protocol on Marks (15 countries are members; Malawi, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda are not yet members)
  • Nice Agreement on Classification of Marks (Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania are members)
  • Paris Convention (all countries except Somalia)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (all countries except Somalia)
  • WIPO Convention (all countries are members)
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty (only Botswana and Ghana are members)
  • WTO/TRIPS (all countries are members except Liberia, Sao Tomé & Principe, Somalia and Sudan).