Zanzibar - New Industrial Property Act

Despite merger into the United Republic of Tanzania since 1964, Zanzibar retains its own legislature, courts and laws on industrial property inter alia. The trade mark law dates from 1932 and was amended in 2004 to recognise service marks. UK patents are protected by recordal. UK designs are automatically recognised.

An Act, recently passed by the House of Representatives, will change all that when it comes into operation. The effective date may not be appointed very soon, because there are no Regulations yet. I believe the authorities will avoid the severe practical difficulties, incurred when other countries’ new Acts came into force without regulations, forms and fees.

The Act is on the WIPO model and some features, subject to amendments, are:-

  •  Trade Marks -

o Signs, susceptible of graphic representation and capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.

o Ten-year terms, renewable.

o Exhaustion of rights extends to articles which have been put on the market in any territory or country by the registered owner or with his consent. That provision is still under discussion.

o This Chapter includes collective marks, certification signs and trade names.

  • Patents -

o Current, familiar tests of patentability.

o Prior Art is everything disclosed to the public, anywhere in the world.

o Local examination is contemplated but we are discussing its feasibility.

o 20-year term.

o Progressively increasing annuities, amounts to be prescribed.

  • Other Rights Recognised - Geographical Indications; Industrial Designs; Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits; Utility Models.
  • Provisions against Unfair Competition and for Enforcement. The latter codify the powers and duties of the civil courts in IP proceedings and include provisional measures.
  • Border Measures against trade mark counterfeiting.

•Criminal Proceedings under the existing Criminal Procedure Act for wilful trade mark counterfeiting and large scale copyright piracy.

Spoor & Fisher Jersey are assisting in a continuing review of the Act and preparation of regulations.

Date published: 2008/06/27
Author: Mac Spence

Tags: zanzibar new industrial property act united republic of tanzania