A new Industrial Property Code is now in force in Mozambique – from 31 March 2016. This new Code (henceforth the new IPC) was approved on 31 December 2015 by the Council of Ministers of Mozambique and was published under Decree no. 47/2015. As laid down in Article 2 of the referred Decree, the Mozambican Industrial Property Code of 2006 (from now on 2006 IPC) is expressly repealed and replaced. Further, Decree no. 21/2009, establishing the regime of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, is also repealed and this matter is now provided for in the new IPC.
The main new features that may be found in the new IPC are as follows:
- Deadline to submit outstanding documents or information: Article 11 provides a deadline of thirty days from the notification of the Industrial Property Institute, within which outstanding documents or information must be filed, instead of the previous deadline of fifteen days of the 2006 IPC.
- Deadline to appeal: instead of the former sixty days period provided for in 2006 IPC, the new IPC (Article 18) sets a deadline of thirty days from the notification or publication for appealing against a decision by the Director General of the Industrial Property Institute.
- A new appeal: Article 19 of the new IPC sets the possibility of appealing to the Minister of Industry and Commerce against decisions of the Director General that grant, refuse or suspend an industrial right. The deadline to do so is thirty days from the notification or publication of the decision.
- Provisional refusal for patent and industrial designs applications: under Article 70 of the new IPC patent applications may be subject to provisional refusals by the Director General, and the applicant has thirty days upon reception of the corresponding notification to file a response or the refusal becomes final. Mutatis mutandis, the same rules are fixed in Article 115 for Industrial Designs applications.
- Oppositions against industrial design applications: Article 113 of the new IPC gives the deadline of thirty days from the publication of the application, which may be extended for an equal period, for the lodging of oppositions against industrial design applications. The 2006 IPC merely contained a general remission to the rules applicable to patent application.
- Deadline for opposing to trademark applications: the new IPC reduces the previous opposition period of sixty days to thirty days. This deadline may be extended for an equal period.
- Monthly publication of the IPI Bulletin: the IPI Bulletin will now be published every month, instead of every two months as provided for in the 2006 IPC.