Useful information about trade and service marks law in Tanzania Mainland.

Here are a few things which you may wish to know or refresh your memory about the legal position in Tanzania Mainland on trade and service marks law.

  1. Is a trade and service mark renewable?

Yes. Initially, a trade and service mark has to be renewed after seven years. Later on, it has to be renewed after every ten (10) years.

  1. Can a trade and service mark be registered without limitation of colour?  

Yes, it can and in that case, that trade and service mark shall be deemed to have been registered for all colours.

  1. Is it possible for identical trade marks in respect of the same goods to be registered in the name of more than one proprietor?

Generally it is not possible but in the case of an honest concurrent use or other special circumstances, identical or closely resembling trade and service marks may be registered in the name of more than one proprietor. However, that will be subject to conditions and limitations that may be imposed by the Registrar.

  1. What happens when different persons file separate applications for registration of trade and service marks that are identical or which nearly resemble each other?

The Registrar is empowered to refuse to register any of those trade and service marks until the rights of those applicants have been settled by agreement in the manner that the Registrar approves; or until those rights have been settled by the court on appeal.

  1. What does the law say about benefits of earlier application for protection for a trade and service mark in a country of the convention?

The law provides priority to persons who have applied for protection for a trade and service mark in a country which is a member to the Paris Convention of 20th March, 1983 for the Protection of Industrial Property. Those persons will be entitled to claim the benefits of earlier application. Moreover

Upon that occurrence, registration date for the trade and service mark in Tanzania shall be deemed to be the same as the date of the application in the country of the Convention. Those benefits are not automatic; rather, they will be enjoyed if the application for registration is made within six months from the date of earlier application.

  1. What does the law say about joint proprietors of a trade and service mark?

The law allows two or more persons to be registered as joint proprietors of one trade and service mark. In the event thereof, the rights to use the trade and service mark shall be treated as if they have been vested in one person.

Moreover, if one of those proprietors claims the right of exclusive use of any part of that trade and service mark, that proprietor may apply to register that part as a separate trade and service mark.

  1. When can several trade and service marks be registered as a series in one registration?

Several trade and service marks will be registered as a series in one registration if they are in respect of the same goods or closely related goods with resemblance in material particulars. That will be irrespective of difference in the statements of the goods in relation to their use or proposed use, or statements of number, price quality or names of places, or colour or other matters of non-distinctive character which does not substantially affect the identity of the trade mark.

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