Brand protection is one of the essential aspects of establishing and running a business in any jurisdiction. This should be done not only to protect the loss of revenue from a company but also to protect a company’s image, reputation and overall value.
If you are planning to start a business in Angola or any other African country, the information in our blog post will be of interest to you.
TM definition and registration requirements
No one is restricted from applying to register a TM in Angola.
Foreign nationals can apply with equal rights, provided that proof of activity in their country is presented when applying in Angola. This proof may consist of a certificate of registration of the applicant or an extract from the commercial register.
TMs that most likely will be well registered in this jurisdiction are:
- geographic names;
- colors and their combinations;
- some other.
Registration is strictly forbidden to:
- TMs that falsely indicate the usefulness of goods;
- signs that are misleading as to geographic location, manufacturer, etc.
- insignia, flags, emblems or official state seals, a well-known organization or a state body;
- corporate names not belonging to the applicant;
- TMs that show signs of imitation of a previously registered TM;
- immoral expressions, or those that are contrary to public policy;
- face of a person without his/her consent.
Also, unlike many European countries where registration of aromatic trademarks is already in full swing, this practice is not yet widespread in African countries. Therefore, if you want to register a TM in Angola as a fragrance, then you cannot do this.
No one can get the rights to a TM in Angola without registering it. Full protection is granted only from the moment of the receipt of the TM registration certificate in Angola.
Still, if you are the owner of a brand well known locally (even if not registered), you have the right to object to the registration of an identical or similar mark for the similar category of goods, provided that you file an application for the brand registration in Angola.
NOTE: Those interested in registering a brand in Angola should take into account that online registration is not available even with the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
It is better to use a TM in Angola after the registration. However, there is currently no period of non-use of the mark that could lead to its cancellation.
Brand abuse in Angola
Companies need to be vigilant against any type of brand abuse of which they may become a target. In cases of violation of IP rights, immediate steps should be taken to identify the undeniable fact of the illegal act. Experts advise starting collecting evidence even before filing an application to the court.
In case of violation of the rights to TM in Angola, it is necessary to conduct a ‘test purchase’ of counterfeit goods. Based on the results of the purchase of such goods, you will receive a cash register receipt, a sales receipt, and the actually purchased goods. Also sometimes photo and video filming of the process of buying a counterfeit product is made. The sales receipt, as a rule, contains all the necessary details: the date and number of the document, the address of the trade point of the infringer, the total cost, the signature of the seller and the seal etc.
However, the best solution will be to use the services of a professional lawyer, since not everyone succeeds in proving their case alone when facing the situation for the first time, and litigation in Africa can last for years.
If you have any queries please contact the IQ Decision UK team for individual advice on TM regulation in Angola. Experienced professionals will help you register your brand and resolve a TM dispute in Africa in the most efficient and cost-effective way.