Patents, Trademarks & Designs

Sierra Leone Patents

Patent Registration in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Patents have a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Sierra Leone 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
  • ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required.

Patentability:   

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

Examination:

Formal examination.

Patent 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.

Patent Filing Requirements

Non-PCT applications:

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

PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English 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 Sierra Leone is designated or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application.

International and Regional Systems

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

Sierra Leone 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

Sierra Leone 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:

  • Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • 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) (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Verified English translation of the Priority Document if not in English (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)

ARIPO design designating Sierra Leone.

Design 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.

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Patents, Designs and Trademarks in Africa

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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.