IP useful information



Banjul Protocol

The ARIPO trademark system was put in place by the Banjul Protocol on Marks. This Protocol is operational in 10 Member States: Botswana, Liberia, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Filing routes under ARIPO trademark system

Trademarks application may be filed directly with the ARIPO Office or indirectly with the national industrial property office any of the Contracting States acting as Receiving Office. An application filed with the office of the Contracting State acting as a receiving office will have the same effect as if it has been filed at the same date at the ARIPO Office. Filing of the application may be done online, by manner of personal delivery, email or registered mail, whichever method is convenient to the applicant.

 ARIPO trademarks application requirements

Application for registration of a trade mark should contain the following:

  • the applicant’s name and address
  • designation of the Banjul Protocol Contracting State(s)
  • descriptions of goods and/or services
  • corresponding class/classes of the goods and/or services in accordance with the Nice Classification
  • name(s) of color(s) claimed (if any) as a distinctive feature of the mark
  • a reproduction of the mark in the form of a two dimensional, graphic or photographic reproduction
  • a declaration of actual use or intention to use the mark.


Grant of trademarks protection under Banjul system


Once ARIPO receives an international application, it carries out an examination for compliance with the requirements. This examination is restricted to formalities. If there are no irregularities in the application, this one is sent to designated states for substantive examination. In fact, any matter of substance, such as whether the mark qualifies for protection or whether it is in conflict with a mark registered previously in a particular Contracting Party, is determined by that Contracting Party's trademark office under the applicable domestic legislation.

Industrial design