Botswana - Accession to Madrid Protocol

Botswana acceded to the Madrid Protocol on 5 September 2006. It will, however, only become a party to the Madrid Protocol with effect from 5 December 2006.

Statutory trade mark protection in Botswana is afforded to trade marks in terms of the Industrial Property Act of 1996. The Act does not make provision for the registration of international trade marks in terms of either the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol. In the absence of such provisions, it is doubtful that international registrations designating Botswana will have any force or effect in that country.

At the time of writing, it seems unlikely that any amendments to the existing Industrial Property Act will be made in the near future. The Registry has also yet to provide a note on how it intends to deal with international registrations designating Botswana or whether a Register of international registrations is to be maintained.

Even if legislation is promulgated in due course, international registrations filed before the effective date of the legislation may not be valid.

It is recommended that national registrations be maintained until such time as legislation has been promulgated recognising international registrations. In the interim it may also be prudent to continue to file all important trade marks as national applications.

Click here for Botswana Filing Requirements

Date published: 2006/11/01
Author: Tracy Rengecas

Tags: botswana madrid protocol trade mark protection