Patents, Trademarks & Designs

Eswatini Patents

Patent Regsitration in Eswatini

Eswatini patents have a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) is a member of PCT and the Paris Convention. PCT National Phase entries provide a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states. Eswatini Patents may be filed through the ARIPO union where the applicant may file a single application designating the specific contracting states either directly at ARIPO or through a contracting state. The relevant protocol on Patents for ARIPO is the Harare Protocol, which authorises ARIPO to register Patents on behalf of Harare Protocol Contracting States.

Types of Patents:

  • Registration of a granted South African patent
  • ARIPO application
  • ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required.

Patent Duration / Renewals:

The patent will expire when the UK/South African patent expires. The duration of an ARIPO patent designating Eswatini is 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are not payable in the case of a UK patent. In the case of registration from a South African patent, renewal fees are due annually on the same date as the South African renewal fees are due.

    Patent Filing Requirements

    A granted UK patent will automatically extend to Eswatini without re-registration. It is also possible to register a granted South African patent to obtain patent rights in Eswatini. An ARIPO application can also be filed designating Eswatini however, there is no guarantee that an ARIPO patent will be enforceable.

    Granted South African patent:

    • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
    • Certified copy of the South African patent (if applicable) (required upon filing)

    Non-PCT and PCT applications:

    • ARIPO applications can be filed and accepted designating Eswatini but there is no guarantee that the ARIPO patent will be enforceable.

    International and Regional Systems

    Granted UK patents extend to Eswatini without the need for local re-registration. It is also possible to register a granted South African patent to obtain registration in Eswatini.

    ARIPO

    ARIPO is an organisation that facilitates registration and administration of Intellectual Property rights for various African countries. ARIPO is mandated to register marks and the administration of such registered marks on behalf of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States including: Botswana, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania (mainland), Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. An applicant may file a single application designating the specific contracting states either directly at ARIPO or through a contracting state.

    PCT

    Eswatini is a signatory of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The Patent Cooperation Treaty ensures that by filing one international patent application, that applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in other PCT member countries. PCT National Phase entry provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states. 

    Paris Convention

    Eswatini is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trademarks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trademarks and industrial designs to name a few.

    Design Patents

    Types of Designs:

    • Industrial Designs

    Design Filing Requirements:

    A UK design will automatically extend to Eswatini without re-registration. It is also possible to register a South African design to obtain rights in Eswatini. An ARIPO application can also be filed designating Eswatini however, there is no guarantee that an ARIPO design will be enforceable.

    For a granted South African design:

    • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
    • Certified copy of the South African design (required upon filing)

    For design applications through ARIPO:

    • ARIPO applications can be filed and accepted designating Eswatini but there is no guarantee that the ARIPO design will be enforceable.

    Design Duration / Renewals:

    The design will expire when the UK/South African design expires. Annual renewal fees are not payable in the case of a UK design. In the case of registration from a South African design, renewal fees are due 5 years from the filing date of the South African design. Functional designs can be renewed for a further 5 year term whereas aesthetic designs can be renewed for 2 further 5 year terms (as long as the South African renewal fee has been paid).

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    Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of Intellectual Property legal services in all African countries where protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ needs for trademarks, designs and patents in Africa.