Patents

Note: Although (mainland) Tanzania and (offshore) Zanzibar are united politically to form the Republic of Tanzania, they are treated separately for registration purposes, and separate patent applications are required. Despite merger into the United Republic of Tanzania since 1964, Zanzibar retains its own legislature, courts and laws on industrial property inter alia. 

The Zanzibar Industrial Property Act of 2008 passed by the House of Representatives repealed the Patents Decree Cap. 157 of 1932. The Zanzibar Industrial Property Act of 2008 came into force on 13 September 2008 and is being applied despite the absence of Regulations, forms and fees.

International Arrangements:

  • Paris Union (from 16 June 1963 - as United Republic of Tanzania)
  • WIPO (from 30 December 1983 - as United Republic of Tanzania)
  • PCT (from 14 September 1999 - as United Republic of Tanzania)

Types of Patents Available:

  • Patents of Invention
  • National Phase PCT application

Novelty Requirement:

Absolute novelty is required. An invention will not be new where a theoretical person who is highly skilled in the relevant area could derive the invention from a combination of publications.

However, novelty will not be destroyed if the disclosure of the invention to the public was as a consequence of an abuse committed by a third party with regard to the applicant or his predecessor in title.

Patentability:

Diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans and animals are not patentable. Products for use in any such methods may be patented. However, pharmaceutical products and processes are excluded from patent protection until 1 January 2016 or the expiry of such later period of extension agreed upon by the World Trade Organization Council for TRIPS.

Filing Requirements:

Patents of Invention (Non-PCT):

  • Power of Attorney (simply signed) (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in English (required on the day of filing)
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on the day of filing)
  • Assignment of Invention (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Priority document with verified English translation (can be late filed within three months)

National Phase PCT Application:

  • Power of Attorney (simply signed) (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in English (required on the day of filing)
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on the day of filing)
  • Assignment of Invention (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Copy of Pubished International Application (required on the day of filing)
  • Copy of International Search Report (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Copy of International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed, no set deadline)

Note: For both PCT and non-PCT applications, if relevant, the description must contain a clear identification of the origin of genetic or biological resources as well as of any element of traditional knowledge collected in the territory of Zanzibar and that were directly or indirectly used in the making of the claimed invention without the prior informed consent of its individual or collective creators.

Grant:

The term of a patent is twenty years from the filing date. In the event that the patent is granted more than four years after the filing date, the term of protection of that patent may be extended by the Registrar so as to compensate for any period of time in excess of four years from the filing date if the patent holder applies.

Renewal:

For PCT and National patents renewal fees fall due annually commencing on the first anniversary of the filing date.
 

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