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Uganda (UG)

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Apr 20, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 7/16)
New Intellectual Property Law in Force
The Ugandan Industrial Property Act of 2014 is now in force despite the fact that no Regulations have been passed. The new law does not concern trademarks. It refers to patents, utility models, industrial designs and so-called 'technovations', which are defined as solutions to specific problems in the field of technology.

For more information, please check here


Apr 05, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 6/16)
List of Trademarks Eligible to Be Renewed
The Ugandan Trademarks registry has published a list of trademarks eligible to be renewed in 2016-2017. The list of trademarks can be accessed here

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

Apr 04, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 6/11)
Goods & Services Specification Changed
The Trade Marks Registry in Uganda permits now for trademark application to use either the international class headings or the applicants choice of wording.

Before, the Registry insisted that specifications of goods and services be worded exactly in accordance with the class headings as set out in the 9th Edition of the International (Nice) Classification.

Source: Spoor & Fisher, South Africa

Legal basis is the Trademarks Act No. 17 of 2010, in force since September 3rd, 2010.
Uganda is not a member of the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Trademarks must therefore be registered locally to be protected.
Nice classification, 9th edtion
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, three-dimensional forms, sound marks and any combination of the mentioned signs. Trademarks consisting of a device or devices are also registrable.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.
The application is filed at the Trademarks Registry, Intellectual Property Department in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.
A separate application is required for each class.
An application can include goods any number of classes, but with additional charges for each additional class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent who must be an advocate.
A power of attorney – simply signed - is necessary. Where registration of a trademark is not completed within twelve months from the date of the application by reason of default on the part of the applicant, the registrar may, after giving notice of the non-completion to the applicant in writing in the prescribed manner, treat the application as abandoned unless it is completed within the time specified in that behalf in the notice.
Foreign applicants need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the official gazette for a period of sixty days prior to registration.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark in Uganda is about three months. The process can be longer when the application for registration is being opposed.
The opposition period is 60 days from publication date of the application. The party seeking to oppose registration may apply for extension of time if by the time of such application the registration has not been completed.
The term of a trademark is 7 years from filing date. It can be renewed further after every 10 years. The application for renewal has to be made within six months from the date of expiry of the trademark or else a penalty for late renewal shall be paid. For renewal, it is not necessary to proof use of the trademark.
From the publication of the non-payment, there is 1 additional month to deliver the renewal fee.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
There is no use requirement for a registered trade mark to be used in order to prevent its removal from the Register. Any registered trade mark may be removed from the Register on request of any aggrieved person, if it is proved that on application there was no bona fide intention of use of the mark and that the mark is not actually used, or that there has been no bona fide use of the mark for five consecutive years up to one month before the filing of the request for removal, unless it is proved that the non-use is due to special circumstances in the trade. Permitted use by a registered user is deemed use by the registered proprietor of the mark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is USD 150 for each class. The publication fee is not fixed and depends on the number of words or the amount of space the advert will take in the gazette. The registration fee is USD 250.

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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
Jun 30, 2017
Angualia Busiku & Co. Advocates, Kampala, Uganda

Mai 30, 2016
JAH & CO. IP, Doha, Qatar  

Mrz 01, 2011
Sebalu & Lule Advocates, Kampala, Uganda

Feb 24, 2011
Frank, Jack & Associates, Kampala, Uganda

Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
Gegistrar General's Office
Georgian House, Plot. 5, George Street
P.O. Box 6848
Kampala, Uganda

Tel +256 414 233 219
Fax +256 414 250 712

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