ZIMBABWE – RECOGNITION OF ARIPO MARKS
The Trademarks Amendment Act (No. 10 of 2001which was promulgated on 13 July 2001 under General Notice 31/2001has only now been brought into force on 10 September 2010 by virtue of Statutory Instrument 153 of 2010.
One of the significant changes wrought by the Trademarks Amendment Act is that it has inserted a new provision in the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04], section 97A, in terms of which the Banjul Protocol on Marks, which Zimbabwe assented to on 6 March 1997, now has the force of law within Zimbabwe.
This means that any trade mark which has been registered by the ARIPO Office in accordance with the Banjul Protocol and in respect of which Zimbabwe has been designated shall have the same effect as a trade mark registered under the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04] and shall be accorded the same legal protection as a trade mark registered in accordance with section 97 of the Trade Marks Act.
Subsection (5) of section 97A states that the recognition of trademarks registered in the ARIPO Office and which designate Zimbabwe shall have retrospective effect, provided that the proprietor of any such mark shall not be entitled to any damages or other remedy for infringement of copyright in the mark which took place before the date Amendment Act came into force i.e. 10 September 2010.