Uganda the Trademarks Act 2010

Service Marks Coming but not yet; Orders Invited

Background

Uganda trademarks were last in the News on this site in June 2009. A letter by the Registrar General announcing introduction of the 9th edition, Nice Classification led to claims that service mark protection had become available in Uganda.

We had to state that the law had not then been amended to provide for service marks and the Registry was not yet open for that purpose. However, an appropriate Bill had been placed before Parliament.

Current status

Very recently, claims have been renewed that service mark applications can be filed “now”. They probably result from news that the Trademarks Act has received Presidential Assent and is about to be published.

Once again, after checking with the authorities we must advise that service mark applications are still not being received by the Registrar General’s Office.

The Trademarks Bill 2008 was indeed announced in that year. The 2008 Bill or a similar one was passed by Parliament in or about April 2010, and the President has indeed assented thereto. So there is now a Trademarks Act 2010.

The Official Gazette dated 3 September 2010 listed the Act as a supplement. Unfortunately, as this news item is published the supplement has not in fact been issued, in consequence of which:-

  • Detailed advice on its provisions cannot be given.
  • The date cannot be stated, of its coming into effect.

Therefore, the law and systems are still not in place for dealing with service marks in Uganda.

Prospects

Nevertheless, a principal motive for the 2008 Bill was the protection of service marks and there is no suggestion that this feature was lost in the legislative process. Further, the publication of the Act may be delayed but it cannot be deferred indefinitely.

Therefore we can announce that such applications will be lawfully receivable by the Registrar of Trademarks; not immediately but possibly soon.

Current indications are that the standards of registrability, costs and required information will be the same as currently apply to trademarks.

Orders Invited

On that basis Spoor & Fisher Jersey is inviting orders to prepare applications for registration of service marks, which will be filed as soon as the way is officially cleared for them. Instructions and/or questions arising will be welcomed by your usual contact person or at info@spoor.co.uk.

Date published: 2010/09/09
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: uganda trade marks act 2010