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Namibia (NA)

Apr 21, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 5/22)
Declaration of Article 15(5) of Madrid Protocol Withdrawn
WIPO informs that Namibia has deposited a notification on February 16, 2022, withdrawing the below-mentioned declaration:

"In accordance with Article 14(5) of the Madrid Protocol (1989), the protection resulting from any international registration effected under the said Protocol before the date of entry into force of the said Protocol with respect to the Republic of Namibia cannot be extended to it" (see Madrid (Marks) Notification No. 157 of March 31, 2004).

For more information, please click here


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


Legal basis is the Industrial Property Act 2012 ("the Act") in force since August 1, 2018. The Act repeals the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act No. 48 of 1973.
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 Act specifically provides for the enforcement of applications filed in terms of the Madrid Agreement and the Banjul Agreement (ARIPO).
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition in terms of common law.
In order to be registrable under the Act, a trade mark must at its time of filing, be either inherently distinctive or capable of distinguishing as a result of 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, 11th edition
The Industrial Property Act 2012 defines a trade mark as a mark which is used or which is proposed to be used by a person in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing those goods and services from the same kind of goods and services connected in the course of trade with any other person.

Registrable as trademarks are all distinctive signs capable of being represented visually such as a device, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, figurative element, shape, colour or container for goods, or any combination of such signs.

Section 135 of the Act defines the limitation of colours in which a trade mark may be limited in whole or in part to a particular colour or colours. In cases of an application where the said sign is limited to a colour, the registrability of the sign will be decided based on whether the sign which has been limited is capable of distinguishing. In cases the trade mark is registered without limitation of colour, it is deemed to be registered for all colours.

The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.
While the repealed Act allowed for the registration of defensive marks, this is no longer the case, though defensive marks registered under the repealed Act remain in force.
The application is filed through Trademark Application form (Form TM1) 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 original Power of Attorney, prescribed in form (Form G2).
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
Once the application form, the representation of the mark and the prescribed fee are received by the Industrial Porperty Office, the application is captured on the Trademarks Database (IPAS) and a unique number is allocated.
The Registrar will examine the application within a time frame of approximately 12 months and an examination report is then issued and forwarded directly to the applicants or their legal representatives.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search of prior trademarks.
After receiving a response from the applicants or their legal representatives, the examiners will issue a preliminary Notice of Acceptance which will allow the trademark application to be published by the applicants or their legal representatives in the Industrial Property Bulletin. The Industrial Property Bulletin is usually published monthly. The trademark will be opened to possible oppositions for a period of 2 months from the bulletin date before the Industrial Property Tribunal.
If the trademark 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. 18 months.
The opposition period is 2 months from publication in the IP Bulletin.

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 an initial period of 10 years from the date of application for registration.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
Practical details on grace periods for trademark renewals are available in our publication here
Practical details on trademark use requirements are available in our publication here
The official fee for filing a trademark application in one class is NAD 600 for the first and an additional for each further class of NAD 480. The publication and the registration fee is NAD 500. The certificate of registration fee is NAD 100.

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Practical details on trademark licensing are available in our publication here
Online you can see a limited part of information about this country.
More in-depth details are available for the following aspects:

     General Trademark Regulations
     Trademark Use Requirements
     Grace Period for Trademark Renewal
     Trademark Licensing

If you like to purchase all available information for this country, click the order button.
The total price is 49.00 EUR. A PDF-Download will be sent to you electronically.

SMD Group thanks the following law firms for their assictance in updating the information provided.

May 04, 2023
IPvocate Africa Legal Advisers Ltd., Ebène, Mauritius  

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

P.O Box 185

Tel +264 61 299 4400
Fax +264 61 401 061

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 0242 794065
Fax +263 47 94 07 2