The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Trade Marks, published by Global Legal Group

What is the relevant trade mark authority in your jurisdiction?

The relevant authorities are the Intellectual Property Office within the Uganda Registration Services Bureau under the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

What is the relevant trademark legislation in your jurisdiction?

The relevant legislation is as follows:

  • the Trademarks Act 2010; and
  • the Trademark Regulations No. 58 of 2012.

What can be registered as a trademark?

Any sign, word, symbol, design, slogan, logo, colour, label, name, signature, letter, numeral or combination of these that is capable of being represented graphically and capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of another can be registered as a trademark.

What cannot be registered as a trademark?

The law restricts registration of the following marks:

  • trademarks likely to deceive or that would be contrary to law, morality or any scandalous design;
  • trademarks consisting of a word commonly used and accepted as a name of a single chemical element or compound;
  • a shape that results from the nature of the goods themselves;
  • the shapes of goods that are necessary to obtain a technical result and the shape that gives substantial value to the goods;
  • trademarks that are identical and resembling trademarks already on the register with a different owner, subject to exceptions, representations of the armorial ensigns of Uganda or any device so nearly resembling them as to be likely to lead to a mistake, or of the national flag; and
  • any words, letters, or devices likely to lead persons to think that the applicant has Government patronage or authorization; and a representation of armorial bearings, insignia, a decoration or a flag of any state, administration, city, town, place, society, body corporate, institution or person.

What information is needed to register a trademark?

The following information is required:

  • the full name and address of the applicant;
  • an indication of the product class(es) for which registration is sought;
  • the name of the mark or specimen of the mark; and
  • a form of authorization or Power of Attorney duly executed in case of a foreign trademark.

What is the general procedure for trademark registration?

The general procedure is as follows:

  • Ascertain that the trademark is registrable.
  • Conduct a search at the Intellectual Property Office to ascertain whether the trademark exists on the register.
  • File an application to register the trademark upon payment of requisite fees, which should contain the following:
    i) the mark proposed to be used;
    ii) the class of goods or services, the name and address; and
    iii) the signature of the applicant.
  • If the applicant is a foreign company, a Power of Attorney or form of authorization to an advocate of the High Court of Uganda will be sufficient.
  • An acknowledgment is issued as soon as the application is filed.
  • The registrar will then determine if the trademark is registrable and whether it conflicts with prior existing registrations or applications for trademark registrations.
  • If the application is accepted by the registrar, the application will be advertised in the official government gazette for 60 days.
  • If there is no opposition after the expiration of 60 days of the advertisement, the registrar shall, upon payment of the necessary registration fees by the applicant, enter it in the trademark register and issue certificate of registration of the trademark.

How is a trademark adequately represented?

A trademark has to be distinctive in order to be adequately represented and take the form of a word, design, device or label, or a combination of either one.




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