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Rwanda Patents

Patent & Design Protection

Rwanda Patents have a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Rwanda 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.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty  (PCT) is an international patent law treaty that provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in all of its contracting states. A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application. The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

Rwanda 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:

  • Patents of Invention
  • National Phase PCT Application
  • ARIPO application or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application

Filing Requirements:

Non-PCT applications:

  • Power of Attorney, notarised with English, French or Rwandan translation (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English or French translation (required upon filing)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)
  • Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable) with verified English or French translation (can be late filed)

PCT applications:

  • Power of Attorney, notarised with English, French or Rwandan translation (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English or French translation (required upon filing)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)
  • Published International application (required upon filing)
  • International Search Report and International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed)

ARIPO application where Rwanda is designated or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application.

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required. 

Patentability:   

Methods of medical diagnosis, treatment or surgery are not patentable.

Examination:

Formal examination.

Duration/Renewals:

The patent has a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are payable from the first anniversary of the filing date.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • PCT
  • ARIPO

Types of Designs:

  • Industrial Designs

Filing Requirements:

  • Power of Attorney, notarised with English, French or Rwandan translation (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Drawings, photographs or other graphic representation of the design (required upon filing)
  • A statement indicating the kind of products for which the design is to be used
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable) with verified English or French translation (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)

ARIPO design designating Rwanda.

Duration/Renewals:

The design has an initial term of 5 years from date of filing, with possible extensions of 2 further terms of 5 years each.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • ARIPO
  • The Hague Agreement
Africa | Intellectual Property

African Territories

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of IP legal services in all African countries where Intellectual Property 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’ IP needs in Africa.