There have been many changes in 2020 to procedures for registering industrial property rights in Angola, particularly with regard to trademark registration. The most significant revision is the change to the payment period for granting fees, which alters the entire procedure for registering trademarks in the country, along with the possibility of requesting a 60-day extension.
Previously, granting fees were payable after the opposition period only. The Angolan Institute of Industrial Property (IAPI) proceeded with the substantive examination after these fees had been paid, meaning that there were two periods of payment.
The payment of granting fees after the opposition period caused considerable constraint on the registration system as there was no formal deadline to proceed with this payment. In many cases, applicants took years to pay fees, did not pay them until the marks were granted or refused to pay them altogether.
In addition, IAPI was prevented from spending resources on examining compliance with this formality and did not issue formal notifications to trademark applicants requesting payment.
Before the amendment, the trademark registration procedure consisted of the following steps:
Now, granting fees must be paid at the same time as the filing fees. This occurs when the trademark application is filed.
With the amendment, the procedure for trademark registration is as follows:
Although this measure entered into force a few weeks before activity at IAPI was suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic, it will undoubtedly be a positive measure for trademark registrations in Angola.
The trademark registration process can still be time-consuming and rather bureaucratic. While the mark may still take a few years to be granted, this measure will ease the bureaucracy in trademark registration procedures, since it eliminates a previously essential step and leads to trademark owners having their rights protected in a more prompt and effective way.
This is a co-published article, which was originally published in the World Trademark Review (WTR).