KAMPALA - The Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB) has given a 30-day ultimatum to companies that have expired trademarks to renew or risk losing them.
URSB Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze said in a public notice issued and published yesterday that the trade marks had expired and were due for renewal.
“Notice is hereby given to all registered owners of expired trademarks as published on the Uganda Registration Services Bureau website to renew their trademarks within 30 days from the date of this notice, otherwise they will be struck off the register,” reads the notice.
Mr Twebaze issued the notice in accordance with section 21 of the Trademarks Act and Regulation 47 of the Trademarks Regulations.
Section 22 of the Trademarks Act provides the at the prescribed time before the expiration of the initial registration of a trademark, the registrar shall send the registered owner notice of the date of expiration of the trademark, the conditions as to payment of the prescribed fees and otherwise for renewal of registration.
Section 21 of the Trademarks Act of 2010 provides for duration and renewal of registration where the registration of a trademark shall be for a period of seven years and shall be renewable every ten years upon payment of a prescribed fee.
Section 21 (2) states that the registrar shall, on application made by the registered owner of a trademark in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed period, renew the registration of the trademark.
Commercial lawyer, Fred Muwema described the notice as a welcome move to enforce compliance in the Intellectual property regime.
“It is an obligation for trademark licensees to renew their trademark because under the laws and regulations, licenses are issued for a limited period,” Muwema said, adding that it is a good thing for the authorities to remind the trademark owners.
Regulation 47 provides for Renewal of registration.
(1) At any time not more than three months before the expiration of the last registration of a trademark, a person may fill form TM 10 and file it with the registrar accompanied by a fee for renewal of registration of a trademark.
(2) Where the person filing for renewal is not the registered proprietor, that person shall sign a statement in the form that he or she is directed by the registered proprietor and pay the fee (if that is the case) and shall give his or her address.
(3) Before taking any further step, the registrar may either—
(a) require the person filling the form under this regulation to furnish within ten days an authority by the registered proprietor to renew the registration and pay the fee and if the person does not furnish the authority, he or she may return the fee and treat it as not received; or
(b) Communicate with the registered proprietor stating that the renewal form and fee have been received and that the registration will in due course be renewed.
Attached is the list of companies operating under expired trademarks as released by URSB
By David Sseguya