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Lesotho (LS)

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Legal basis is the Industrial Property Order no. 5 of 1989, last amended by Act no. 4 of 1997 and the Industrial Property Regulations, 1989.
Lesotho is a member of the Paris Convention (since 1989). Lesotho has also acceded to the Banjul Protocol of ARIPO and to the Madrid Agreement and Protocol of WIPO. These treaties have not yet been implemented in the national trademark laws of Lesotho. The Industrial Property Order however provides that “… the provisions of any international treaty in respect of industrial property to which Lesotho is a party shall apply to matters dealt with by this Order and, in case of conflict with the provisions of this Order, the provisions of the international treaty shall prevail”. A number of ARIPO trade marks and International Registrations designating Lesotho have been registered there. The question of enforceability of such registration has, however, it seems, not been tested. In the circumstances, it remains not clear whether valid trademark protection can be obtained and enforced in Lesotho via an ARIPO registration or a Madrid registration designating Lesotho.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Nice Classification, 11th edition
Registrable as trademarks are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, colour combinations, the three-dimensional form of a good or its packaging and any combination of the mentioned signs.
A mark is defined as any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of an enterprise. One can therefore conclude that sounds, smells and holograms do not comply with such definition because they cannot be represented visually. No express provision is made for the registration of colours, but such registration is in practice permitted.
The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks for goods and service, certification marks, trade names and collective marks.
The application is filed with the Registrar of Trade Marks, Lesotho.
Multiple-class applications are possible. An application can include goods and/or services in any number of classes.
The following information and documents are required for registration:
- A power of attorney simply signed
- Full particulars of the applicant
- Graphic representation of the mark (if not a word mark)
- Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable)
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration. Foreign applicants need a local agent.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination as to distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
Once a trade mark application has been accepted, it is published for opposition purposes.
The approximate time frame from application up to registration is approximately 24 months.
National:
The opposition period is 3 month from the publication date of the application in the Official Gazette.


Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing of the application for registration and is renewable for like periods, on the payment of the prescribed fee.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months, starting from the date of expiration and subject to payment of penalty fees.


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


Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official application fee is LSL 400 for one class and LSL 100 for each additional class. The registration fee is LSL 300. There is no publication fee.


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Common law rights are recognised in Lesotho. Therefore, a person who has acquired a reputation in a mark may prevent others from using such mark or any similar mark which may mislead, confuse or deceive the public and damage the person’s reputation (passing-off). The owner of a registered trade mark may not interfere with or restrain the use of an identical or similar mark by any other person, if such use pre-dates the use or registration of the registered mark.

The use of the symbol ® is optional in Lesotho.
Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
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
02-22-2017
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

09-21-2015
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

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



Ministry of Law and Constitutional Affairs
Registrar General's Office
P.O. Box 33
Maseru 100
Lesotho
Tel +266 22 311 251
Fax +266 22 316 602 / 311 092
Mail sentsuoemohau@yahoo.co.uk
Registrar General: Ms. Sentšuoe Ntseliseng Mohau

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

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