INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY REGISTRATION IN THE GAMBIA
The Industrial Property (IP) Office is headed by the Registrar General under the Ministry of Justice. The Office is responsible for the administration of all national applications, applications received from the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) as well as applications received from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Administration of all industrial property rights are carried out in accordance with the followings laws, agreements and protocols:
- Industrial Property Act 2007
- Industrial Property (Amendment) Act 2015
- Industrial Property Regulations 2010, and
- Industrial Property Regulations 2011
APPLICATIONS UNDER THE AFRICAN REGIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (ARIPO)
- Lusaka Agreement
- Harare Protocol on Patent and Industrial Design
- Banjul Protocol on Marks
- Swakopmund Protocol on the protection of traditional knowledge and expression of folklore
- Arusha protocol for the protection of new varieties of plant
APPLICATIONS UNDER THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO)
- Berne Convention
- Madrid Protocol
- Paris Convention
- Patent Cooperation Treaty
- Patent Law Treaty
- WIPO Convention
What is a patent?
Section 3 of the Industrial Property Act 2007 defines a patent as a "title granted to protect an invention". An invention is an idea of an inventor which permits in practice the solution to a specific problem in the field of technology, and it may be, or may relate to, a product or process.
Section 4 of the Act outlines the criterion that needs to be satisfied for an invention to qualify for a patent and they include the following:
- Novelty. An invention must be new for it to be granted patent protection.
- Inventive step. An invention must not be obvious to a person ordinarily skilled in the art.
- Industrial applicability. An invention must be used in any kind of industry.
A patent application shall be on form P1 and shall be filed with Registrar General and shall contain:
- Drawing; and
The application fee for a patent application is D5000 (national) or 400 USD (International). An applicant can also withdraw a patent application before it is granted. Form P2 shall be used in withdrawing the application for patent and it is free of charge.
After the patent is examined and the Registrar General considered that all the criteria have been met, he or she shall grant the invention patent protection and shall issue a certificate to that effect. In issuing the certificate, Form P6 shall be used. The Patent is valid for a period of 20 years from the date of filing.
What is Utility model?
A utility model is a protection granted to an invention that is similar to a patent. Utility model applications are filed with Registrar General and Form U1 shall be used in applying.
For an invention to be granted a utility model it must have the following criterion:
- Novelty (local); and
- Industrially applicable
Application for utility model shall be on Form U1 and shall be filed with Registrar General and shall contain:
- Drawing; and
The application fee for utility Model is D2500 and is valid for a period of Ten years from the date of filing.
What is Industrial Designs?
Industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic of an article. For industrial design to be registered it must be:
- New (local novelty); and
- Not contrary to public order or morality.
Applications for industrial designs shall be filed with the Registrar General using Form D1. The application fee for industrial design is D3125 (Local) or 250 USD (International).
The Registrar General after examining the application shall issue certification of registration of industrial designs using Form D6. An applicant may withdraw the application for registration before protection is granted using Form D2. The term for the protection of industrial designs is Fifteen years.
What are Trademarks?
Trademarks are visible signs capable of distinguishing the goods or services of an enterprise.
A Trademark cannot be validly registered if it is:
a) Incapable of distinguishing the goods and services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises;
b) It is contrary to public order or morality;
c) If it is likely to mislead the public or trade circles, in particular as regards the geographical origin of the goods or services concerned or their nature or characteristics;
d) If it is identical with, it is an imitation of, or contains an element, an armorial bearing, flag, and another emblem, a name or abbreviation or initials of the name of, or officials signs or hallmark adopted by, any State, inter-governmental organization or organization created by an international Convention, unless authorized by the competent authority of that State or organization;
e) If it is identical with or confusingly similar to or constitutes a translation of, a mark or trade name which is well known in The Gambia for identical or similar goods or services of another enterprise; or
f) If it is identical with a mark belonging to a different proprietor and already on the register, or with an earlier filing or priority date, in respect of the same goods or services or closely related goods or services, or if it so nearly resembles such a mark as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion.
Application for registration of marks shall be filed with Registrar General using Form M1 accompanied by payment of a fee for the sum of D2500 and every additional class D1250 (Local) or 200USD and every additional class 100USD (International).
Upon receipt of the application the following will be carried out:
- The application will be stamped and dated if all the formalities (form property completed and signed, evidence of payment, and other documents) are in order.
- Substantive examination will be carried. If this examination is successful applicant will be issued Acceptance Notice and will be required to pay the publication fee of D1250 (National) and 100 USD (International).
- The application will be published for opposition for a period of three month.
- If there is no opposition, a registration certificate using Form M8 will be issued to the applicant.
- The trademark protection will be valid for 10 years and then subject to renewal for another ten years. The trademark may be renewed in perpetuity.
An applicant may withdraw the application for registration of mark before it is registered using Form M2 free of charge. An applicant shall use Form M3 to request for correction of the application for registration of a mark and it is free of charge.
An applicant can renew his or her application using Form M9 and shall pay the sum of D3125 (local) or 250 USD (International). A certificate of renewal shall be issued using form M10 and it is free of charge.
Applicant can apply for recordal of change per registration using form G1 and pay the sum of D1875 (Local) or 150USD (International). Application for recordal of a license shall be made using Form G2 and paid the sum of D3750 (Local) or 300USD (International).