1. Law dealing with Trademarks in D.R.C
– Industrial Property Law no 82-001 of 1982
– Industrial Property Regulations, 1989
2. Trade mark protection in DRC
The Law provides for the registration of trademarks for goods and services, for collective marks, for manufacturing marks, and for national warranty marks. The Law states that the filing of a mark is compulsory for each commercial operator.
Applications must be filed as national applications and, in appropriate circumstances, claiming convention priority in terms of the Paris Convention.
3. Protection of well-known marks in DRC
There is no express provision to protect well-known marks.
4. Types of trademarks in DRC
Provision is made for the registration of trademarks for goods and services, and for collective trademarks.
The Law also refers to manufacturing marks and national warranty marks. However, these types of marks are not defined, and there are no specific provisions, which relate to their registration or use.
5. Classification of Trademarks in DRC
The International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification) is applied.
6. Convention priority in DRC
The DRC is a member of the Paris Convention. An applicant who has applied for a trademark in another convention country is entitled to a priority right to be accorded the same date as the earlier application.
7. Application of Trademarks in DRC
An application is filed at the Department of Industrial Property or a regional department of government.
The following information and documents are required:
– Full particulars of the applicant
– Power of attorney (simply signed), in French
– List of goods or services to be covered
– Reproduction of the mark
– Certified copy of priority document (if applicable), with certified French translation.
8. Examination/procedure in DRC
The application is subjected to formal and substantive examination. If the application meets the formal and substantive requirements for registration, it will be published. The applicant will be notified that the application has proceeded to grant.
9. Opposition in DRC
The Industrial Property Law makes no provision for opposition. However, any interested party, including the Public Minister, may invoke the nullity of a mark.
10. Duration and renewal of Trademarks in DRC
Trademarks are registered for a period of ten (10) years from the filing date. A mark registration is renewable upon request for further periods of 10 years, and upon the payment of the prescribed fee. A grace period of six months is allowed for such payment, provided that a penalty is paid.
11. Use requirement and cancellation of Trademarks in DRC
A mark must be used in the course of trade within three years of the date of its registration, failing which any interested person may apply to cancel the registration.
12. Rights conferred by registration of Trademarks in DRC
The registration of a trademark gives the owner the right to use and exploit the mark, and to allow others to use and exploit the mark.
13. Marking of goods in DRC
The Law provides that, under certain circumstances, the bringing of certain marketable products into the market shall require the prior affixation of the national warranty mark. The purpose of the national mark is to certify the quality of the goods.