The African Regional IP Office (ARIPO) has confirmed that on 3 May 2021, the government of The Gambia deposited its instrument of ratification to the Banjul Protocol on Trademarks.
A Trademark is a distinctive word or a combination of both that identifies certain goods and services of one producer offered for sale as different from others.
It protects the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or authorize another to use it in return for royalty payment. Trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of application. It is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The protocol that The Gambia has ratified will enter into force on 3 August 2021.
From that date, The Gambia will become the 12th member state to the Banjul Protocol and will be eligible for designation for applicants at ARIPO.
The Banjul Protocol establishes a trademark application filing system along the lines of the Harare Protocol. With effect from 3rd August 2021, an applicant in The Gambia may file a single application to register and protect his trademark either at one of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States or directly with the ARIPO Office.
The Banjul Protocol on Marks was adopted on November 19, 1993, at Banjul, The Gambia. The African Regional IP Office is mandated to register marks and the administration of such registered marks on behalf of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States.
Since 1997, the protocol has been extensively revised to make it compatible with the TRIPs Agreement and the Trademark Law Treaty and make it more user-friendly.
States currently party to the Banjul Protocol are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome, and Principe, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.