Friday, 9 April 2010

Uganda Trademark Bill passed

Afro-IP can exclusively report that the Uganda Trademarks Bill, 2008 was passed yesterday by Parliament, after its third reading. This makes the year 2010 monumental in any IP practitioner's life in Uganda!

Details of the new Bill will be posted here soon as we have them. One of the fundamental proposals in this law that will be welcomed by brand owners is the registration of service marks. The Financial Services sector was liberalized in Uganda over 15 years ago. This encouraged banks, insurance companies and other financial service providers to invest in Uganda. Investment in Uganda has also been spurred by Telecommunications and Broadcasting companies keen to reap big in one of Africa's most liberalized markets. Other areas that will benefit are advertising and marketing agencies and hospitality related services such as hotels.

None of these companies has been able to effectively protect their brands as service providers since all classes from 35 to 45 have been closed to applicants. The new law will also provide clear remedies for infringement and protection of non traditional marks such as scent marks. The mechanism of examination of non traditional marks is yet to be clarified on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Uganda is very good at making laws, but very poor at implementing them.

The registrar will not get any means for properly processing, storing and publishing the IP applications, let alone that an instance will be provided to settle disputes.

The way Uganda failed to implement their patent laws (in essence a copy of the PCT), but fails to publish any application or patent, leads the way.

Therefore I don't believe there will be any monumental change.