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What is a trademark? How do you file a trademark application with ARIPO?

What is a Trademark? 

● A Trademark is a distinctive word or sign or a combination of both which identifies certain goods and services of one producer offered for sale as being different from those of another. Benefits Benefits of a trademark include… 

● Exclusive Rights - A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services.

 ● Enforcement - Registered trademarks are easier to enforce as they usually carry a presumption of ownership. 

● Selling or Licensing - Selling or licensing trademarks provides a potential source of income for the rights owner. ARIPO Trademark Governing Law ARIPO trademarks are registered on behalf of the member states of the Banjul Protocol on Marks, which was adopted on November 19, 1993, in Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia. Under the protocol, a trademark applicant can designate any one of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States in which the applicant wishes the trademark to be protected, by filing only one application. A trademark application under the protocol can be made directly with the ARIPO Office in Harare, Zimbabwe or in any of the following 13 Contracting States: Botswana, Cape Verde, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Eswatini, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. [Show country names & flags] Validity An ARIPO trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of application and is renewable for similar periods of 10 years each. Procedures for Filing of a Trademark Filing an application An application may be filed by any natural or legal person. This can be done either in person or through an authorized representative.” “An authorized representative is a trademark agent or legal practitioner who is duly recognized by the national IP office of the Contracting State of the Banjul Protocol as having the right to represent the applicant. Ways of filing Applicants can be filed directly at ARIPO through the following ways: 

● e- filing

 ● email 

● in person 

● registered mail and 

● courier” Applications can also be filed through any of the Contracting States of the Banjul Protocol. Contents of an ARIPO Trademark Application The application for registration of a trademark should be made on Form M1. The application form must contain the following:

 ● the applicant's name and address 

● designation of any or all the Banjul Protocol Contracting states 

● corresponding classes of the goods and / services in accordance with the Nice Classification 

● names of colours claimed if colour is a distinctive feature of the mark 

● a reproduction or soft copy of the mark, 

● a declaration of actual use or intention to use the mark in the countries of protection ARIPO Online filing ARIPO’s online filing system allows e-filing of industrial property applications, online payment of fees, receiving of file updates or notifications and general tracking of applications. Value of online filing The e-filing option comes with an added benefit of a 20% reduction on the application fees. “Visit aripo.org to learn more.”

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