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Namibia (NA)

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Latest News: Aug 22, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 14/18)
New Industrial Property Act in Force Now
The Namibian Industrial Property Act, 2012 has come into effect on August 1, 2018. The Act repeals the Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Copyright Act, 1916, the Patents and Designs Proclamation, 1923 and the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act, 1973. As reported earlier, it provides for the registration and protection and administration of patents, utility model certificates, industrial designs, trademarks, collective marks, certification marks and trade names.

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar


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


Source: www.adamsadams.com

Legal basis is the Industrial Property Act, No 1 of 2012 ("the Act") in force since August 1, 2018.
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. The Act however makes no reference to International Registrations obtained in Namibia prior to August 1, 2018, leaving such registrations 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 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, as revised from time to time
The 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: trademarks, service marks and certification marks. Defensive marks obtained under the old Act however remain valid.
The application is filed at the Industrial Property Office (Business and Intellectual Property Authority - BIPA). BIPA is established as a juristic person in terms of section 3 of the BIPA Act, 2016 (Act No.8 of 2016) and is a Public Enterprise as defined in the Public Enterprises Governance Act, 2006 (Act No. 8 of 2015).
Multi-class applications are possible.
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. 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 issued.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search of prior trademarks.
The trademark application is then published in the Bulletin of industrial property after the issuance of a Preliminary Notice of Acceptance and will be opened to possible oppositions for a period of 2 months before the Industrial Property Tribunal.
If the trade mark application is not opposed, the latter then proceeds to registration and a Registration Certificate is issued.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 3 years.
The first office action is taken after approx. 18 months.
Prior to registration, the trademark application is published in the Bulletin of industrial property, which is usually published monthly.
National:
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 3 years from the date of grant of registration, or if it has not been used for 3 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 for filing a trademark application is NAD 600 for the first class and NAD 480 for each further class in the same application. The publication and registration fee is NAD 500 per mark. The certificate fee is NAD 100.


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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
Aug 14, 2018
Triebel IP, Pretoria, South Africa  

Nov 11, 2016
IPvocate Africa Legal Advisers Ltd., Ebène, 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



Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA)
Mr. Tileinge S. Andima
188 Sam Nujoma Drive
Windhoek
Namibia

P.O Box 185
Windhoek
Namibia

Tel +264 61 299 4400
Fax +264 61 401 061
Mail andima@bipa.na
www.bipa.na



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