Trademark Registration in Tanzania (Mainland) and Zanzibar

Introduction

Trademark registration is an essential process for businesses to secure territorial protection and distinguish their products or services. It is important to note that the registration procedures, prerequisites, duration, and intricacies involved in safeguarding intellectual property in Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar are distinct and governed by separate laws. This article aims to clarify the differences between the two countries and provide a detailed overview of the registration process and requirements for each. Businesses seeking to register their trademarks in either country must understand the legal framework and procedures involved to ensure successful registration and protection of their intellectual property.

Trademark Registration Process

When it comes to securing trademark registration in Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar, businesses and international agents need to follow a series of carefully laid out steps. These steps play a crucial role in the successful registration of the trademark, and it’s essential to adhere to them to avoid any delays or complications in the process. By following these steps, businesses can ensure that the trademark registration process is smooth and hassle-free, allowing them to protect their intellectual property rights in Tanzania and beyond. These process includes the following steps;

             I. Performing Both Preliminary and Formal Trademark Searches

Conducting a preliminary search may not be mandatory, but it is a wise move to avoid potential conflicts. By conducting a thorough research both online and within the Trademark Registry, you can ensure that the proposed trademark has not been adopted by another entity. Don’t let preventable conflicts hold you back, take a proactive approach and safeguard your brand today.


            II. Filing an Application

To file the application, there are several documents and information that are required. Trademark application requirements are similar in both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar:

  • Full name, physical address, and nationality of the applicant.
  • Simply signed and scanned Power of Attorney.
  • Trademark image (for device/logo).
  • Priority Document (if claimed) with an English translation.
  • Specification of Goods/products and/or Services, and specific class to be registered in.
  • For individual applicants; a copy of the passport for foreigners and a copy of National ID (NIDA) or Zanzibar Resident ID for locals (Tanzanians).


In order to successfully register a trademark in Tanzania, it’s important to follow the correct application process. In Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika), you can easily submit your application online. However, if you’re applying in Zanzibar, it’s important to note that physical filing is required. You must provide all necessary documentation, including the trademark image, Power of Attorney, and Priority document (if applicable), with each application. This will ensure that your application is processed smoothly and efficiently, giving you the best chance of securing your trademark.

           III. Examination

After filing a trademark application in Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika) or Zanzibar, the Registrar of Trademarks conducts an examination, which typically lasts for a month. The outcome of this evaluation process is communicated through an official action, and it may either accept, accept with conditions, or reject the trademark application. Importantly, Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika) may enforce certain conditions, which may include disclaimers or associations, the same is not the case in  Zanzibar.

           IV. Publication

Accepted trademarks are published in the Official Journal in both Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar for a 60-day opposition period.

          V. Opposition

If any party raises an objection within two months of a trademark’s publication, the Trademarks Registry takes action by investigating the matter. During this investigation, a hearing may be conducted to determine the validity of the opposition. This is an essential step in ensuring that the trademark registration process remains equitable and transparent for all parties involved..

          VI. Issuance of Registration Certificate
After the opposition period has lapsed and no objections have been received, the registrar will promptly issue the registration certificate. It’s worth noting that, while Tanzania Mainland (Tanganyika) issues electronic certificates, Zanzibar continues to provide physical certificates. This ensures that every registered entity receives a tangible and secure certificate, which can be easily accessed and stored for future reference.

3. Duration of Protection
In Tanzania Mainland, the law offers a protection period of 7 years for intellectual property rights. This period can be renewed for successive 10-year periods if the owner wishes to extend their protection. On the other hand, in Zanzibar, the law offers a protection period of 10 years for intellectual property rights. This period can be renewed for successive 7-year periods if the owner wishes to extend their protection.

4. Conclusion
Trademarks play an indispensable role in branding and business success. The establishment of a unique trademark serves to protect intellectual property and distinguish products or services. Given the significance of trademarks in safeguarding business interests, it is essential to ensure that trademarks are robustly protected. Failure to do so could result in infringement and the loss of valuable intellectual property. It is therefore imperative to recognize the value of trademarks in maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace and to take the necessary steps to preserve their integrity.

AUTHOR: ADV. GASPER MALONGO

DISCLAIMER:

This article is not intended to offer legal advice but rather aims to provide general information on the subject matter discussed. It does not constitute and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Lawfic Attorneys explicitly disclaim any responsibility for any loss that may occur if this article is relied upon without first seeking professional advice from our legal experts. Individuals should consult with qualified professionals for tailored legal guidance related to their specific circumstances.”

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