Registering a trademark in Zimbabwe involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by ZIPO, 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 Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe. Adherence to the requirements and guidelines will ensure a smooth registration process.
Step 1: Preliminary Search
The first step in this process is conducting a preliminary search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar or identical to an existing one. The Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO) has a database that you can use for this search. Access the database at this link: https://www.dcip.gov.zw/
Step 2: Application
If the search does not reveal any conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with ZIPO. The application should include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services to be covered by the trademark.
Step 3: Examination by ZIPO
After receiving the application, ZIPO will examine it to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Trademark Law. ZIPO 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, ZIPO will publish the application in the Patent and Trade Mark Journal. This allows third parties the opportunity to oppose the registration of the trademark. The opposition period lasts for 60 days from the date of publication.
Step 5: Registration
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is resolved in favor of the applicant, ZIPO 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 USD 200 (as of 2021). If the application is successful, there is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate. These fees are subject to change and it's recommended to check the latest fees on the ZIPO website.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 12 to 18 months, provided there are no objections or oppositions.
Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO): https://www.dcip.gov.zw/