Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Search tools gradually open for Africa

From the desk of MIP's managing editor James Nurton comes news that Tunisia is the latest country to allow access to its trade mark database to TMView which now allows searching of "almost R24.5 million trade marks". You can read more about the development here.

Afro-IP notes that Morocco is the only other African country on the TMView list which is dominated by Europe and North America, and includes Russia.

Although competitor search tool Saegis offers access to a greater number of trade mark records in Africa, it is not free, unlike TMView.

My own experience is that whilst the search tools are very quick and useful, in many African states a physical check of the actual register is still required to rely on the information, constraining users to unfortunately spend more time and money. This is changing slowly as more and more registries go online.

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