Zambia Patent Law
* Patents Act No.13 of 1957 (Chapter 400) as amended several times, most recently by the Patents (Amendment) Act no 18 of 1980 and No. 26 of 1987.
* Patent Regulations, 1994.
- Zambia is a member of the Paris Convention, ARIPO (Harare Protocol), the PCT and the WTO/TRIPS.
Power of Attorney (POA) simply signed.
Zambia Patent Registration Procedure
Patent applications are filed with the Zambian Patent Office at the The Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
Applications are subjected to formal examination only, for compliance with the formal requirements of the Act. If the application is found to be in compliance, the Registrar will accept the application. Acceptance must take place within 30 months from the filing date.
Upon compliance with the formal requirements and acceptance of the application, the Registrar will notify the applicant who must advertise the acceptance of the application. Once the application is deemed to satisfy the requirements for patentability, a brief summary of the complete specification is advertised in the Patent and Trademarks Journal for a period of 90 days. During this period, the public is allowed to oppose the grant of the application.
Any interested person may within three (3) months from the date of the advertisement of the acceptance of the application, file an opposition application with the Registrar’s office. The Act prescribes the grounds on which an opposition may be based; these include:
* that the applicant is not a person entitled to make the application
* that the application is in fraud of the rights of the person opposing the application
* that the invention does not comply with the definition of an invention
* that the invention is obvious
* that the invention is not useful
* that the complete specification does not fully describe the invention
* that the claims do not sufficiently and clearly define the subject matter to be protected
* that the invention is not new.
If there is no opposition to the patent application, the patent is granted.
From filing to registration is about 2 years, approximately.
Granted patents are valid for 16 years calculated from the filing date.
Renewal fees are payable and are calculated from the first anniversary of filing. A grace period of six months is allowed for the late payment of the renewal fees, subject to payment of surcharges. Failure to pay a renewal fee causes the patent to lapse.
Zambia is a member of the Paris Convention and the Act provides that an application may contain a declaration claiming priority of one or more earlier national, regional or international applications filed by an applicant in or for any state party to the Paris Convention.
Zambia Trademark Law
* Trade Marks Act No. 14 of 1957 (Chapter 401) as amended several times, most recently by the Trade Marks Amendment Act no 17 of 1980 and No. 13 of 1994
* Trade Mark Regulations, 1994
* Zambia is a member of the Paris Convention, the Madrid Protocol, and the WTO/TRIPS.
* Although Zambia is also a member of ARIPO, it has not acceded to the Banjul Protocol of ARIPO.
Languages: English (official language)
* Power of attorney (Simply signed)
Zambia is party to the Nice Classification of Goods only further to which goods have been categorised in 34 classes. A separate application is required for each class of goods. There is no provision for services.
Zambia Trademark Registration Procedure
The application for registration of a trade mark is made to the Registrar at the The Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
Examination takes place as to inherent registrability and conflict with prior registrations or pending applications. Once examined and accepted, whether absolutely or subject to conditions or limitations, the application is advertised for opposition purposes. Should there be no opposition, the application proceeds to registration. A letter of acceptance or rejection through which the outcome of the examination is communicated, should be collected by the applicant from the Trade Marks Office. In the practice, This letter is issued within 45 days of filing the application.
If the mark is accepted, the applicant should immediately cause the trademark to be advertised in the Zambia Patents and Trade Marks Journal published on the 25th of every month by the Trade Marks Office by paying the advertisement fee. The advertisement, which runs for two (2) months, is meant to accord registered trademark proprietors and users the opportunity to oppose marks they deem likely to infringe theirs.
Once a trade mark application has been advertised for opposition purposes in the Trade Mark Journal, any person can oppose the application within two (2) months of the date of advertisement. This deadline is not extendible.
From filing to registration is about 8 months, approximately.
The duration of a trade mark registration is seven (7) years, but it may be renewed for further periods of 14 years from the date of the original registration. The proprietor of the trade mark must apply for the renewal within six months of the expiration of the last registration period. If no renewal fee has been paid at the date of expiration, the Registrar will advertise this fact in the Journal. The proprietor then has one month within which to effect the renewal, by payment of the renewal and penalty fees.
If the renewal fee is not paid, the Registrar may remove the mark from the register. The proprietor may apply for restoration in the manner prescribed.
As Zambia is a member of the Paris Convention, priority can be claimed. Any person who has applied for protection of a trade mark in a convention country is entitled to registration of the trade mark in priority to other applicants, and the registration will have the same date as that of the application in the convention country. Such an application must be filed within six months of the date of the application in the convention country.
Zambia Opposition process
Marks are opposed largely for closely resembling registered marks as to be likely to confuse and/or deceive the public. The notice of opposition is lodged on the respective TM Form. An opposed mark is subjected to the opposition procedure which culminates in a hearing before the Registrar. Two (2) months after receipt of the notice of opposition, the applicant is required to file a counterstatement on the respective TM Form, to which the opponent responds two (2) months thereafter with an affidavit in support of opposition. The applicant in-turn responds with an affidavit in support of application. The opponent thereafter has the option of filing an affidavit in reply, strictly confined to matters in reply. The entire opposition process therefore takes at least eight (8) months. If no opposition is filed within two (2) months of the advertisement, however, the applicant should proceed to have the mark registered by completing and lodging the respective TM Form accompaned by the prescribed registration fees. It is a legal requirement that the registration process be completed within 12 months, otherwise the application may be deemed to have been abandoned. A party that has been notified of a hearing is required to complete the respective TM Form and return it to the Registrar within seven (7) days of receipt.
Cancellation for removal of a trade mark in Zambia
A registered trade mark may be cancelled or removed from the register in any of the following circumstances:
* an aggrieved person may apply to the Registrar or the High Court for such an order as the High Court or the Registrar may think fit, for expunging or varying the registration of a trade mark on the ground of any contravention or failure to observe a condition entered on the register in relation to the trade mark
* any person aggrieved by the non-insertion in or omission from the register of any entry, or by any entry made in the register without sufficient cause, or by any entry wrongly remaining on the register, or by any error or defect in any entry in the register, may apply in the prescribed manner to the High Court or to the Registrar for an order for making, expunging or varying the entry as the High Court or the Registrar may think fit.
Use requirement in Zambia
A trade mark may be removed from the register for non-use on application by an aggrieved person to either the High Court or the Registrar on the following grounds:
* that the trade mark was registered without any bona fide intention on the part of the applicant for registration that it should be used in relation to those goods by him, and that there has in fact been no bona fide use of the trade mark in relation to those goods for the time being up to the date one month before the date of the application,
* that up to the date of one month before the date of the application, a continuous period of five years or longer has elapsed during which the trade mark was a registered trade mark and during which there was no bona fide use thereof in relation to the relevant goods.
The Registrar or High Court may order that certain limitations be entered in respect of a trade mark registration where, in relation to any goods in respect of which a trade mark is registered –
* it has been shown that the trade mark has not been used in a particular place in Zambia, or it has not been used in respect of exports to a particular market outside Zambia, and
* a person has been permitted to register, in terms of the honest concurrent use provision, a trade mark that is identical or nearly resembling the trade mark, for use in relation to goods to be sold in that place in Zambia or to be exported to a particular market outside Zambia.
An applicant for expungement shall not be entitled to rely on any non-use of a trade mark that is shown to have been due to special circumstances in the trade, and not to any intention not to use or to abandon the trade mark in relation to the goods to which the application relates.