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Burundi (BI)

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11-11-2014 (Newsletter Issue 17/14)
Early Trademark Registrations to Be Renewable
The Government of the Republic of Burundi has recently clarified that trademark registrations existing before the current Industrial Property Law came into force on 28 July 2009 need to be renewed for ten-year terms with effect from 28 July 2019 and indefinitely thereafter for successive ten-year terms.

The current Burundi Industrial Property Law came into force on 28 July 2009 (the Effective Date). Trade mark registrations made after the Effective Date have 10-year terms from the filing date, indefinitely renewable for like terms. The 2009 Law repealed earlier trade mark law, under which trade marks were registered for indefinite terms.

The transitional provisions of the 2009 Law were originally interpreted to mean that trade marks, registered before the Effective Date for indefinite terms, did not become subject to renewal and would remain in force indefinitely, unless/until annulled or cancelled, for instance on grounds of non-registrability or non-use.

Now, it has been officially announced that those pre-existing trade mark registrations are to be renewable for ten-year terms with effect from 28 July 2019, and indefinitely thereafter for successive ten-year terms.

It is not yet stated what the earliest and latest dates will be for owners to apply for such renewals.

Source: www.spoor.com


06-24-2014 (Newsletter Issue 10/14)
Accession to Hague Apostille Convention
The Republic of Burundi acceded to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (the "Apostille Convention").

The Convention will enter into force for Burundi on 13 February 2015.

Source: www.hcch.net


Legal basis is Law No. 1/13 of 2009 in force since 28 July 2009, Ministerial Order No. 540/2046 on Procedures for Filing and Registration of Trademarks, Service Marks, Collective Marks, Trade Names and Certification Marks (2012) and Ministerial Order No. 540/2047 on Procedures for Filing and Registration of Geographical Indications (2012).
Burundi is a member of the Paris Convention and the WTO/TRIPS.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
Nice Classification (11th edition).
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, including names of persons, pseudonyms, patterns, letters, colours or combinations of colours, shapes or the forms of products or their packaging and holograms. When slogans do not qualify for copyright protection, they may be protected as marks.
The following types of trademarks are registrable: trademarks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, geographical indicators and trade names.
The application is filed with the Director of Industrial Property.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
An application can include goods and/or services in any number of classes, but with additional charges for each additional class from the 4th class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney, simply signed, is necessary.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination as to distinctiveness and for conflict with prior marks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
Trademark applications accepted by the Director of Industrial Property are published once in the official gazette.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark is 6 months.
National:
The opposition period is 30 days from the publication date of the application.
An opposition notice is advertised in an official gazette for a period of 90 days.

Opposition against designation of IR Mark
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol
Protection begins with the date of filing an application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application and renewable for like periods.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months starting from the date on which the renewal is due. Penalty fees are incurred in this instance.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
Any interested person may ask the court to order the Director of Industrial Property to remove a mark from the register - for any goods or services for which it has been registered - on the grounds that the mark, after its registration and up until one month before the submission of the request, has not been used either by the holder of the registration or by a licensee for an uninterrupted period of three years.

The mark shall not be removed if it is proved that specific circumstances, such as import restrictions or other barriers to commercialization imposed by the authorities or the market prevented its use, and that there was no intention not to use the mark or to abandon it for the goods or services in question.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official application fee is USD 200.00 for 3 classes and USD 30.00 for each additional class from the 4th class.

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Word Mark Search (availability) 550,00 € 200,00 € 
Word Mark Search (identical) 520,00 € 180,00 € 

The Prices above are SMD Group Search Fees
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
02-23-2017
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

10-06-2015
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

07-18-2014
Brian Bacon Inc., Cape Town, South Africa
DM Kisch Inc., Sandton, South Africa



Department of Industrial Property at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Post and Tourism
Building des Finances
Avenue des Manguiers (3ème et 4ème étage)
B.P. 492
Bujumbura
Burundi
Tel +257 2222 5953/ 2222 6837
Fax +257 22 22 5595
Mail cabinet@mcipt.gov.bi
www.mcipt.gov.bi
Director: M. Vianey Niyukuri (vianiyukuri@yahoo.fr)