Registering a trademark in Samoa is a process that involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by the MCIL, and waiting for the publication and potential opposition period. If successful, the registration of your trademark will give you exclusive rights to use it in Samoa for 10 years, renewable indefinitely. By following this guide and using the resources provided, you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand in Samoa. Make sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process.
Step 1: Preliminary Search
The first step in the process is to conduct a preliminary search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar or identical to an existing one. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL) of Samoa provides a database that you can use for this search. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the MCIL did not have an online search database available. Therefore, you may need to consult with a local attorney or trademark agent for this search.
Step 2: Application
If the search does not reveal any conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with the MCIL. The application must include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services to be covered by the trademark.
Step 3: Examination by MCIL
After receiving the application, the MCIL will examine it to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Trademark Law. The MCIL will also determine whether the trademark can be registered or if it infringes upon any existing trademarks.
Step 4: Publication
Once the application passes the examination, the MCIL will publish the application in the Samoa Gazette. This is to give third parties the opportunity to oppose the registration of the trademark. The opposition period lasts for 3 months from the date of publication.
Step 5: Registration
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is resolved in favor of the applicant, the MCIL will proceed with the registration of the trademark. The applicant will then receive a certificate of registration.
The official fee for filing a trademark application is approximately 500 Samoan Tala (as of 2021). If the application is successful, there is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate. Please note that these fees are subject to change and it's recommended to check the latest fees with the MCIL.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 12 to 18 months, provided that there are no objections or oppositions.
Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL): https://www.mcil.gov.ws/