New Industrial Property Act in Namibia

30 Aug 2018

WINDHOEK - The new Industrial Property Act No. 1 of 2012 came into effect in Namibia on August 1, 2018 and repealed the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act of 1973, making it one of the most anticipated pieces of intellectual property legislation in Namibia, aimed at ensuring compatibility of national laws with the international legal framework.

The Industrial Property Act makes provision for patents, utility model certificates, industrial designs, trademarks, collective marks, certification marks and trade names.

The most significant introductions in terms of the Industrial Property Act include new requirements for trademark applications, assignments, renewals and restorations, alterations/amendments, joint ownership, license contracts and registered users. There is also an increase in the official fees payable to the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA).

Namibia now has a multiclass application system. Priority can also be claimed.

Applications can be filed in terms of the Madrid Protocol and the Banjul Agreement (ARIPO).

The Industrial Property Act makes it possible to register collective marks, whereas previously only certification marks were registrable. No provision is made for defensive trademark registrations.

In terms of the previous legislation, trademark applications were advertised in the Government Gazette. In terms of the Industrial Property Act, BIPA will now publish the acceptance notices in an IP Bulletin after payment of a prescribed fee. The opposition period remains two months after publication in the IP Bulletin. On payment of a fee one can request the registration certificate.

A Trademark Registration in Namibia is effective for an initial period of ten years and may thereafter be renewed for like periods. Non-use by owner or licensee of a Namibian Trade Mark for a period of 3 years may render a mark vulnerable to expungement upon an application filed by a third party.

Litigants will be pleased that recognition has been afforded to foreign well-known trademarks in accordance with Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

For further information and queries on this new act and IP filing in Namibia, please contact AGIP Africa office at: 

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