Trademark Registration In Tanzania

A trademark is a distinctive sign, could be a name, signature, drawing or symbol, which is used to distinguish similar goods or services of different companies.

Trademarks, besides serving the owner also help consumers to identify, choose and finally purchase a product or service because of its quality, as it has been displayed by the trademark owner over the years. Registration of a mark gives an exclusive right to the use of that mark by its known as registered user, and any other beneficiaries. This exclusive right is extended for the first/initial period of seven years and renewable for ten years consecutively.

A person using an unregistered mark will most likely infringe a registered mark and is at a risk of facing legal action which in the final analysis can make him/her bankrupt due to heavy penalties imposed against him/her.

The Process for Trademark Registration In Tanzania is as follows;

The Trademark Registration In Tanzania process entails lodging an application to the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) offices. Requirements are as follows:

  • Full name of the applicant (owner of the mark), a natural person or legal entity
  • The applicant’s e-mail address
  • Applicant’s phone number
  • Physical address
  • A picture of the mark (name, logo, symbol etc.)

If the applicant is not making the application themselves, are required to appoint an agent by signing a form of authorization of agent authorizing them to process the application on their behalf.

After BRELA receives application, examination is conducted, and if the registrar accepts, the mark proceeds to be advertised in the journal published by the registrar every month. If the registrar receives no objection within sixty days of advertisement, then he/she proceeds to issue the certificate of registration.

If upon the examination, the Trademark Office objects to the application, it will notify the applicant in writing of the objections and will give him 30 days to submit his comments or to request a hearing, and if the applicant fails to submit his comments or requesting for hearing within the time allowed, he will be deemed to have withdrawn his application.

Where the Trademark Office notifies the applicant of its objections, it may indicate its willingness to accept the application subject to any amendments, modifications, conditions or limitations which he may deem fit. If the applicant does not object to that conditional acceptance and amends his application accordingly, the Trademark Office will cause the application to be advertised in the Trade and Service Marks Journal.

The time frame for trademark registration is usually ninety days in a case where there were no objections.

Post Registration of the Mark

  1. It has to be renewed after seven years. Any renewal thereafter lasts for ten years and then renewed consecutively
  2. Where the owner of the mark decides to assign it to someone else, this matter has to be communicated to the Registrar for registration and endorsement.
  3. Any change of name or address ought to be communicated to the Registrar. The same case applies to Mergers, Registered users (also known as licensing) and any other change in particulars registered.
  4. Make sure the mark conforms to laid down procedures stipulated by the Trade and Service Mark Act, Cap 326 [R.E.] 2002 and its Trade and Service Mark Regulations of 2000.

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