Since Malawi is a signatory to the Banjul Protocol forming ARIPO, it is now possible to file an application through ARIPO.
Malawi recognises all 45 classes. Multi-class applications are not allowed.
Claims of priority in terms of the Paris Convention are allowed.
The Act makes provision for the protection of well-known marks.
The Act allows the filing of certification and collective marks, as well as geographical indications.
As of 25 December 2018, the Madrid system will come into force in Malawi, allowing local and foreign clients to seek protection of its trade marks through the Madrid system.
The costs related to filing trade mark applications in Malawi are as follows:
The trade mark application is examined to ensure compliance with all formal requirements and also to ensure that there is no prior conflicting trade mark on the register. The registry will issue an official action if there are further requirements or objections. The applicant has 30 days from the date of the official action within which to respond. Trade marks must be advertised after examination. The opposition period is 30 days from the date of publication.
Once registered, rights in a Malawian trade mark are backdated to the date of application. If Convention priority is claimed, then the priority date is deemed to be the date of application.
The trade mark is valid for 10 years (from the date of application or the priority claim date), and is renewable thereafter every 10 years.
Kindly note that all fees include official charges. These are not in our control and are subject to change.