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LegalBrain Associates
Kigali, Rwanda (RW)
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Rwanda (RW)

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06-14-2016 (Newsletter Issue 11/16)
Opposition Period and IP Laws Amended
The Rwandan government published Law No. 005 of 2016 and various Ministerial Orders to amend the opposition period and to introduce changes to Rwanda’s Intellectual Property Laws. The amendments became effective with the publication in the Official Gazette on April 20, 2016.

Some of the main changes are the following:
- The period for filing opposition to trademark applications and geographical indications has been amended from formerly 30 days to 60 days.
- Some of the official fees for registration, prosecution and renewal of trademarks, patents, industrial designs, geographical indications and utility models have been reduced.
- A new format of Power of Attorney is required.
- The Power of Attorney needs to be notarised for grantors whose habitual residence or principal place of business is located outside Rwanda.
- The time frame for unilateral licenses and compulsory licenses has been revised.
- Law No. 005 of 2016 now provides recognition and protection of seed and plant varieties.

For further information, please access the gazette here, available in three languages (Kinyarwanda, French and English). Please also check the article of Adams & Adams to receive additional information.

Source: Adams & Adams, South Africa and Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (www.nlipw.com)


Legal basis is the law of Protection of Intellectual Property, Law N° 31/2009 of October 26, 2009.
Rwanda is a member of the Madrid Protocol since August 17, 2013. Further, Ruanda is a member of the Paris Convention (since 1984), WIPO Convention (since 1984) and WTO/TRIPS (since 1996). Rwanda has not yet acceded to the Banjul Protocol of ARIPO.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
The International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification) is applied.
A trade mark is defined as any visible sign enabling the products (product marks) or services (service marks) of one company to be distinguished from those of other companies.

A sign may be
• any form of denomination including words, names, letters, figures and acronyms
• figurative elements such as designs, relief, product forms or packaging
• colours or combinations of colours
• combinations of the above.

The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.
The application is filed at the Office of the Registrar General, Rwanda Development Board.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
An application can include goods in any number of classes.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney needs to be notarised by a Notary Public.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The Registrar examines the application to determine whether it complies with the formal and substantive requirements. The Registrar shall, if he is satisfied that the application complies with the requirements, accept the application and advertise the application for opposition purposes in the Trade Marks Journal. Thereafter the registration certificate will be issued.
Provision is made for the registration of trade marks for goods and services, for collective marks and for certification marks. Provision is also made for the protection of geographical indications and trade names.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark in Rwanda is approximately 3 months.
National:
The opposition period is 60 days from the publication date of the application.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
A trade mark registration is effective for a period of 10 years from the date of filing and, thereafter, is renewable for like periods.

According to the transitional provisions, a trade mark registered under the old 1963 Act shall remain valid and must be considered to have been granted or registered under the new 2009 Law. A trade mark that has been registered under the old 1963 Act must be renewed within 10 years of the date on which the new Law came into force.
The grace period for renewals is 10 months from the expiration date of the trademark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
If the trademark has not been used for a continuous period of 3 years or more from registration, it may be subject to cancellation.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is RWF 35,000 for one class and RWF 3,000 for each additional class as per the new Ministerial Order N°24 of March 17, 2016 determining fees payable for registration services of intellectual property.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Search type First class Add. class
Word Mark Search (availability) 380,00 € 200,00 € 
Word Mark Search (identical) 350,00 € 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
07-18-2016
LegalBrain Associates, Kigali, Rwanda

10-22-2013
Adams & Adams, Pretoria, South Africa



LegalBrain Associates

Kimironko
250 Kigali
Rwanda (RW)

Rwanda Development Board Office of the Registrar General (RDB)
P.O. Box 6239
Kigali
Rwanda
Tel +250 788 697 632
Fax +250 252 580 388
Mail info@org.rdb.rw
www.org.rdb.rw

African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO)
11 Natal Road
Belgravia
Harare
Zimbawe

P.O. Box 4228

Tel +263 47 94 0 65 68
Fax +263 47 94 07 2 or 3
Mail mail@aripo.org
www.aripo.org


World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8
www.wipo.int