The Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO) is a section of the Department of Deeds and Intellectual Property and is currently administered by the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Department was established in 1897 as the Deeds Office with a secondary function as an intellectual property registry.

The main functions of ZIPO are the registration and maintenance of registers in respect of trade marks, patents, industrial designs, geographical indications and integrated circuit lay out designs under the respective local statutes and international treaties.

Zimbabwe is a party to various international treaties governing intellectual property and it is one of the functions of ZIPO to represent Zimbabwe in the international arena on intellectual property matters and to ensure that Zimbabwe meets its administrative obligations under the treaties.

Zimbabwe is, among others, a member of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and a party to the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs and the Banjul Protocol on Marks; it is a party to the Madrid Protocol, and ZIPO acts as an office of origin for individuals from Zimbabwe wishing to obtain international registrations through the Madrid system; and, it is also a contracting party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and ZIPO acts as a receiving office under the PCT.

L Takaendesa
Intellectual Property Department