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Namibia (NA)

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Latest News: Jun 28, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 12/18)
New Industrial Property Act soon in Force
The Industrial Property Regulations were published in the Namibian Government Gazette on June 1, 2018. By this the new Industrial Property Act No. 1 of 2012 will come into operation on August 1, 2018.
The Act repeals the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act dating back to 1973 and introduces new legislation for patents, industrial designs, trademarks and trade names.

Some of the amendments with regard to trademarks are the following:
- new requirements for assignments and provisions relating to restorations, alterations/amendments, joint ownership, licence contracts and registered users
- possibility to register collective marks,
- non-use cancellation period will shorten from 5 years to 3 years
- trademark infringement proceedings must now be brought before the IP Tribunal
- foreign well-known trademarks will be recognized
- provisions for multi-class applications and applications under the Madrid Protocol and the Banjul Agreement in place

For further information, please check the article of the law firm Adams & Adams here


Legal basis is the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act No. 48 of 1973 ("the Act") in force since January 1st, 1974.
Namibia is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. Namibia is also member of the Paris Convention, the ARIPO (Banjul Protocol) and the WTO/TRIPS.
The Trademarks Office is currently processing applications filed in terms of the Madrid Agreement but the substantive law does not provide for this, leaving such applications at risk of challenge.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition in terms of common law.
The Register is divided into Part A (distinctive marks) and Part B (marks capable of becoming registrable through use).
The principles of common law apply; i. e. official and judicial decisions are rendered on the basis of prior decisions and judgements on similar cases.
Nice classification, 5th edition - consisting of 42 classes
The Trade Marks in South West Africa Act defines a trademark as a mark which is used or which is proposed to be used in relation to goods and services for the purposes of indicating the connection between the goods or services and the proprietor or the registered user of the used mark. A trade mark is also used to distinguish goods and services from the same kind of goods and services connected in the course of trade with any person.

Registrable as trade marks are all distinctive signs capable of being represented graphically, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numerals, devices, emblems, holograms, combinations or shades of colours, three-dimensional forms of goods or their packaging, containers and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, defensive trade marks and certification marks.
The application is filed at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Directorate Commerce).
A separate application has to be filed for each class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A simply signed Power of Attorney.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
After the filing of the application, an application number is granted to the application. A filing notice is issued by the Registrar of Trade. The filing notice is usually obtained within a time frame of 7 working days.
The application is then examined by an examiner within a time frame of approximately 12 months and an examination report is then produced.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
The trademark application is then published in the Government Gazette after the issuance of Preliminary Notice of Acceptance and will be opened to possible oppositions for a period of 2 months.
If the trade mark application is not opposed, the latter then proceeds to registration and a Registration Certificate is then issued.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 5 years.
The first office action is taken after approx. 3 ½ years.
Prior to registration, the trademark application is published in the Government Gazette, which is usually published monthly.
The opposition period is 2 months from publication of acceptance of the trademark application, extendable for further periods of 2 months each upon request to the Registrar. Extension is granted at latter’s discretion.

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 application, subject to grant.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 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 within 5 years from the date of grant of registration, or if it has not been used for 5 consecutive years, it may be subject to cancellation at the instance of third parties.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee is NAD 260 per class. The publication fee is NAD 120.50 per class.

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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
Nov 11, 2016
IPvocate Africa Law Firm Cabinet d’Avocats, Mauritius, Mauritius

Jul 24, 2013
H.D. Bossau & Co., Windhoek, Namibia

Jun 26, 2013
Spamer Triebel Inc., Cape Town, South Africa

Feb 21, 2012
Spamer Triebel Inc., Cape Town, South Africa

Ministry of Trade and Industry
Commerce Directorate
Mrs. Maria Pogisho
Director/Registrar (Acting)
Business registrations
Cnr. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda & Goether Streets
Private Bag 13340

Tel +264 61 283 7262
Fax +264 61 222 576

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

African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO)
11 Natal Road

P.O. Box 4228

Tel +263 47 94 0 65 68
Fax +263 47 94 07 2 or 3