Select Country

Select a country to view information on local trademark law

A-E  F-J  K-O  P-T  U-Z

Multinational Agreements
Enter Client Voucher:  info
for Free

Services Firms

Check IP services firms here


Please report us if any of this content needs an update

Law Firms and
IP Consultancies

For legal advice please contact:

Scanlen and Holderness
Harare, Zimbabwe (ZW)
More info

Get Listed

Promote your expertise to IP professionals worldwide.
read more

Zimbabwe (ZW)

Oct 11, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 17/18)
Intellectual Property Policy Launched
Zimbabwe has launched its National Intellectual Property Policy and Implementation Strategy on June 28, 2018.

The document acknowledges that the country’s economy is in a poor state after many years of misrule. However, the IP Policy is to ensure that the IP governance framework leverages the country’s IP potential for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. It outlines specific objectives which, among others, include raising and consolidating IP awareness; enhancing IP knowledge and professional skills capacities; protecting and enforcing IP; and encouraging and facilitating IP commercialisation.


May 17, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 9/17)
Bill on Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes Pending
The Judicial Laws Amendment (Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes) Bill of 2016 is currently pending Zimbabwean parliamentary debate. The purpose of the Bill is to amend sections of the High Court Act, the Magistrates Court Act and the Small Claims Court Act with a view to speed up and to facilitate the settlement of disputes, particularly disputes of a commercial nature.

The Bill proposes that the Intellectual Property Tribunal, which was constituted in terms of the Intellectual Property Tribunal Act, be declared a specialised division of the High Court. The Bill also provides for hearings in court or in chambers to be conducted by way of use of electronic devices or other means of communication subject to agreement between the parties, if a party cannot be physically present at the hearing. This is referred to in the Bill as “virtual sittings”. Provision is also made for the electronic authentication of Court documents and electronic access to records filed with the Courts.

The Bill is perceived as an attempt to bring legal proceedings in Zimbabwe up to speed with the realities of the digital era and to facilitate the settlement of matters in a speedy and effective manner.

May 17, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 9/17)
Designation of Zimbabwe in International Registration Possible Now
The Trade Marks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations, 2017 were published in the Government Gazette of April 13, 2017. Both Houses of Parliament passed the resolutions approving the Trade Marks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations. The Regulations came into force on April 13, 2017. By this it is now possible to designate Zimbabwe in an International Registration.

The opposition period for international registrations designating Zimbabwe is 2 months from the date of publication in the Zimbabwe Industrial Property Journal.

Source: Honey & Blanckenberg, Zimbabwe

Apr 12, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 7/17)
Draft of Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations 2017
Zimbabwe Parliament has recently passed resolutions approving the draft Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations. Zimbabwe became a party to the Madrid Protocol in March of 2015.

For the purpose of the Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations, the Trade Marks Regulations 2005 and the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04] (Trade Marks Act) apply (to the extent applicable and with all necessary modifications) to any holder of an international registration designating Zimbabwe, and to any applicant of an international application originating from Zimbabwe.

In the event of conflict between the provisions of the Trade Marks Regulations and Trade Marks Act and those of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations thereunder, the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations shall prevail.

The draft Regulations are now expected to be gazetted as law in a statutory instrument in order for the Protocol to be fully operational in Zimbabwe.

To access the draft, please click here

Source: Manokore Attorneys, Zimbabwe

Jun 28, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 12/16)
Madrid Protocol in TM Amendment Bill Included
The National Assembly on April 14, 2016, approved the General Laws Amendment Bill, which includes amendments to the Trademark Act to incorporate Zimbabwe’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. The Bill now must be prepared for submission to the President and obtain his assent. It will then be published in the Government Gazette.

Upon publication it will become law, but the Ministry of Justice will need to draft regulations to enable implementation of the Protocol by the Registrar of Trade Marks Office. It is not clear how long the process will take. Meanwhile, applications filed cannot be processed until the regulations are published.

Source: Trademark Office Practices Committee—Africa Subcommittee as contributor and Sara Moyo, Honey & Blanckenberg, Zimbabwe as verifier in INTA Bulletin, June 15, 2016, Vol. 71, No. 10

Nov 11, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 17/15)
Declaration to WIPO Deposited
On October 7, 2015, Zimbabwe has deposited the declaration to extend the period within which it must reject international trade mark oppositions if they are not to be automatically allowed. The period will extend from 12 to 18 months under Article 5(2) of the Protocol.

Further, Zimbabwe wants in connection with each international registration in which it is mentioned and in connection with the renewal of any such international registration an individual fee instead of a share in the revenue produced by the supplementary and complementary fees.

The said declaration will enter into force on January 7, 2016.


Jan 13, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 1/15)
Accession to the Madrid Protocol
On December 11, 2014, the Government of Zimbabwe deposited with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) its instrument of accession to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“the Madrid Protocol”). The Madrid Protocol will enter into force, with respect to Zimbabwe, on March 11, 2015.


Zimbabwean trade mark law is found mainly in the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04].and Regulations which came into force on the 1st of January 1975 as amended up to Act No 3 of 2016.

Zimbabwe became a member of the Paris Union on 18 April 1980 when the Paris Convention entered into force.

Zimbabwe has also acceded to the Banjul Protocol on Marks of the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO). Zimbabwe’s Trade Marks Amendment Act 2001, gives national effect to ARIPO trade mark registrations including those recorded before the amendment act came into force.

Zimbabwe belongs to the Madrid Protocol and its laws specifically recognises the Madrid Protocol. As a consequence, International Trade Mark Registrations are fully enforceable in Zimbabwe.

Trademark Registration is obtained by Registration. Zimbabwe recognizes and protects well known marks.
The goods or services for which the mark may be registered is in accordance with the Nice Classification, 8th edition.
A mark is defined as any sign which can be represented graphically and is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.. Registrable as trade marks are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, colour combinations, the three-dimensional form of a product or its packaging and any combination of the abovementioned signs. The following types of trade marks are registrable: trade marks for goods and services, certification marks, collective marks, defensive marks and series marks, The Registry has also examined and registered a sound mark.
Registration is in terms of the Trade Marks Act:
An application in terms of the prescribed form must be filed with the Intellectual Properties Office in Harare. Similar marks may be filed as a series or in association with each other. Applications filed by agents of a proprietor require a prescribed authorisation form to be given to such agent. This form, akin to a Power of Attorney, has no formalities for the signing other than signing by the deponent. There is no domestic registration required of foreign applicants.

The preliminary assessment on distinctiveness is by the Registar who will issue a notice for the publication of the mark in the Patent and Trade Marks Journal for the public to raise any objections with respect to the intended registration. Normally, if no objections are raised within 2 months from the publication, a registration fee is payable and the mark will be deemed as having been registered from the date that the application for registration was filed. The time period from filing to registration is normally approximately 12 months.

Banjul Protocol on Marks:
The Banjul Protocol on Marks relates to the framework of the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO) adopted in November 1993. Any trade mark which has been registered by the ARIPO Office in accordance with the Protocol and in respect of which Zimbabwe has been designated shall have the same effect and be entitled to the same protection as a trade mark registered under the Trade Marks Act

Convention Country applications:
The application must be a national or person domiciled in the Convention country and will not be accepted if the mark (i) is of such a nature as to infringe rights lawfully acquired by any person in Zimbabwe; or (ii) is not distinctive or capable of distinguishing goods or services; or (iii) consists exclusively of signs which serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, place of origin or time of production of the goods or services to which the trade mark relates or has become customary in the established practices of the trade in Zimbabwe; or (iv) is contrary to morality or public order; or (v) is likely to deceive. Zimbabwe law recognizes an ARIPO registration as if it was filed in Zimbabwe

Familiar foreign mark:
In terms of the Trade Mark Amendment Act, 2001. a familiar foreign markmeans a mark which is well known in Zimbabwe as being the mark of a person who is a national of a Convention country; or is domiciled in, or has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a Convention country; whether or not that person carries on business or has any goodwill in Zimbabwe. The proprietor of the familiar foreign mark may apply for the registration of the said mark in Zimbabwe, The Tribunal or court may prohibit the use in Zimbabwe of a trade mark which constitutes, or the essential part of which constitutes, a reproduction, imitation or translation of the familiar foreign mark, where the trade mark is being or will be used in relation to
(a) goods or services which are identical or similar to the goods or services in respect of which the familiar foreign mark is well known in Zimbabwe, where such use is likely to deceive or cause confusion; or
(b) goods or services which are not similar to those in respect of which the familiar foreign mark is well known in Zimbabwe.

The grounds of the application must be that
(i) the use of the trade mark in relation to those goods or services would indicate a connection between them and the proprietor of the familiar foreign mark; and
(ii) the interests of the proprietor of the familiar foreign mark are likely to be injured by such use; and
(iii) the familiar foreign mark is registered as a trade mark in the Convention country concerned.
Any time before registration. Most objections take place during the 2 month period post publication.

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 date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years. There are no limitations on the number of renewals.
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 application fee is USD 200 for one class and USD 200 for each additional class. The publication fee is USD 40, although the publication fee is dependent on the number of words contained the specification to be advertised. This fee normally ranges between USD 40-60. The Registration fee is USD 80. Registration of series of trademarks is USD 200 for the first application and USD 40 for each additional class (in series) filed simultaneously in the name of the same applicant.

Currency Converter   (Source for exchange-rates:
Find out how much this is in your own currency and convert!

Initial currency

left-to-right wrrow
convert into
Target currency


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 23, 2024
Hussein & Co., Harare, Zimbabwe

Scanlen and Holderness

74 Jason Moyo Avenue
263 Harare
Zimbabwe (ZW)

African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO)
11 Natal Road

P.O. Box 4228

Tel +263 0242 794065
Fax +263 47 94 07 2

Office of the Registrar of Patents and Trademarks (ZIPO)
Century House East
38 Nelson Mandela Avenue
P.O Box CY 177
Tel +263 4 775 544
Fax *263 4 777 372
Controller: Mr. Mushayi

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