Thursday, 1 May 2008

Focus on Angola: the possible extortionate cost of trade mark filings

Angola has received much press coverage for distinguishing itself as the fastest growing country in the world by predicted GDP growth for 2008 (The Economist) and for attracting investment - for example, Africa's largest bank (Standard Bank) has set it sights on having operations in the country. However, investors looking to register their brands in Angola need to be aware that the the cost of filing a trade mark depends on the number of actual products or services in the specification and it operates a single class system ie one application per class. A recent cost quote received by this blogger stated that the cost is $35 per product or service over and above the first five products. For example, a Europe based client claiming priority from an EU application with typically long specifications may be looking at a filing cost in the $10000s, making it one of the most expensive jurisdictions in the world to get protection. This should not be a deterrent against filing an application, just a need to be conscious of exactly which goods/services should be covered. I can imagine the USPTO (in particular) nodding as if to say "...and you need an Angola to tell you that!"

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