A Brief Look At Botswana’s New IP Law

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By Linda Daniels for Intellectual Property Watch

Botswana’s new industrial property act, which came into force earlier this month, has been applauded by IP commentators as an important step in the development of a strong IP system that is in line with international trends. Copies of the new law and implementing regulations are below.

The implementing regulations regarding the new Industrial Property Act 2010 were promulgated at the end of August and came into effect this month.

While the new regulations cover a few areas of intellectual property, IP specialist and partner at the international intellectual property law firm Spoor & Fisher in South Africa, Marco Van der Merwe, said that the Act contains significant changes that influence trade mark registrations.

They include, amongst others: lapsed trade mark registrations can now be restored and the application for restoration should be made within 2 months following the 6 month grace period. Also, the new act provides for international registrations (in terms of the Madrid Protocol) as well as geographical indications and traditional knowledge and handicrafts can now be protected.

Another aspect that the new Act covers is applications and procedure for patents.

Under the new Act, Botswana will now allow for pre-grant oppositions of patents. Nametso Makepe, commercial officer in the registrar of companies and intellectual property within the trade and industry ministry in Botswana, explained that the main motivation for the implementation of the new act was that “we had to move with the times.”

The Botswana Industrial Property Act 2010 is available here.

The IP Act implementing regulations are available here.

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