Trade Mark Renewals in Rwanda | News | Spoor and Fisher

Is it worth renewing your trade mark in Rwanda before 2019?

Existing trade mark registrations under the Rwanda Law 31/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property (“the Law”) are scheduled for renewal in 2019.

Before now, few owners expressed an interest in early renewal. Some local sources are now suggesting that existing registrations should be renewed sooner rather than later, although the reasons for such recommendations are unclear.

The Law states that:

  • existing registrations can be renewed within ten years of the entry into force of the Law, i.e. by 14 December 2019
  • although 14 December 2019 is the deadline, existing registrations can be renewed at any time between now and the deadline. Such renewal applications are currently being accepted by the Office of the Registrar-General
  • the new term of protection created on renewal of an existing trade mark registration is ten years from the renewal date; if renewed on the deadline, the next renewal would fall due on 14 December 2029 and if renewed today (i.e. in 2013) this would next be renewable on the same date in 2023.

The effect of an early renewal would be the loss of some years of protection although owners would have the advantage of:

  • securing a fresh title document or assurance of the registration’s existence
  • avoiding any increase in fees, that might be imposed before the deadline
  • avoiding the last-minute rush of renewal applications, which may occur as the 2019 deadline becomes imminent

If you would like assistance with protecting trade marks in Rwanda, please contact your usual Spoor & Fisher contact, or email us at

Date published: 2014/01/15
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: trade mark news rwanda trade mark renewals