Tanzania is a union made up of two countries namely Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Each country has nevertheless retained its own trademark registration system and therefore, registration sought in one country will not extend to the other part of the union. To be protected, registration must be sought in each country separately. However, the procedure for registration is substantially the same save for the minor differences in the time periods, and the fact that currently in Zanzibar, the law does not provide for registration of service marks.

It is important to note that a trademark is not registered when the application is filed.  Each application is examined by the Trademarks Office and all objections and requirements must be met before registration is granted.  It is important not to claim that a trademark is registered in Tanzania until the Certificate of Registration has been issued. However, stating that an application for registration is pending is allowed. It is also important to note that multiple class applications are not applicable in Tanzania. Registration of a mark must be sought in each class separately. 

Once the application has been accepted, it is advertised in the Journal of Patents, Trade and Service marks if it is a Tanganyika application. If it is a Zanzibar application, it is advertised in the Government Gazette. In Tanganyika, the Registrar is normally expected to complete exanimation of an application within a period of 1 to 3 months from the date of receipt of the application. In Zanzibar, this process normally takes less than 30 days.

If accepted, the publication will take place approximately within the period of 3 to 6 months from the date of acceptance of the application.

Acceptance of the application does not automatically lead to registration.  In Tanganyika, a two-month period is allowed for any person to object to the registration by way of opposition proceedings. In Zanzibar, it is three months.

Should opposition proceedings ensue, the applicant and opponent file evidence to support their claims and the matter is then decided by the Registrar.  The Registrar might refuse to register the mark if he is satisfied with the evidence before him, that the mark should not be registered.

If no opposition is lodged, or if opposition proceedings have been resolved, the trademark is then registered provided the required fee is paid. A Tanganyika registration is granted for an initial period of seven years from the date of application and is subsequently renewable for ten year periods. A Zanzibar registration is valid for fourteen years, and is renewable for fourteen year terms. 

At the expiry of the validity of a registration, it is necessary to pay renewal fees to keep the registration in force.



Talal Abu Ghazaleh International Limited 2nd Floor, Lumumba Complex, Lumumba/Mafia Street

P.O. Box: 12137, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Telephone: +255 22 184 421 Mobile: +255 655 072 127
Contact: Yustus Adam Mkinga


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