Malawi Trade Marks
Trade Mark Registration & Protection
Malawi Trade Marks 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 trade marks for ARIPO is the Banjul Protocol, which authorises ARIPO to register trade marks on behalf of Banjul Protocol Contracting States, including Malawi. It is important to note however, that not all the countries have incorporated the provisions of the Banjul Protocol into their national laws, effectively questioning the enforceability of ARIPO trade mark registrations in certain contracting states. At this stage, it is recommended that clients pursue national trade mark applications in each African country of interest. Malawi trade marks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and are renewable every 10 years thereafter. Malawi is a member of the Paris Convention (International treaty for the protection of Industrial Property) and the Madrid Protocol (an international system for obtaining trade mark protection for a number of regions through a single application).
The Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed and use of this classification is mandatory for the national registration of marks in countries party to the Nice Agreement, the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the International Bureau of WIPO.
Types of Trade Marks:
- Goods and services
- Collective marks
- Certification marks
- Series marks
- Simply signed Power of Attorney
- Details of the Applicant (full names, physical address, nationality/country of incorporation)
- Representation of the trade mark(s)
- List of goods and/or services
- Certified copy of priority document (if applicable) with verified English translation
The Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed.
7 years from filing date and renewable every 14 years.
International and Regional Systems:
- Paris Convention
- Madrid Protocol
ARIPO is mandated to register marks and the administration of such registered marks on behalf of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States. An applicant may file a single application either at one of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States or directly with the ARIPO Office. At this stage, it is recommended that clients pursue national trade mark applications in each African country of interest.