On 13 March 2017 the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs published the Trade Marks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations 2017 (Statutory Instrument 39 of 2017) (hereinafter Madrid Regulations).
The delay in the publication of the Madrid Regulations, even though Zimbabwe became a party to the Madrid Protocol on 11 March 2015 and domesticated the Madrid Protocol on 1 July 2016, meant that the Registrar of Trademarks could not immediately examine, refuse or publish international applications for opposition purposes in the Zimbabwe.
Any Madrid marks which were registered in Zimbabwe prior to the domestication of the Madrid Protocol on 1 July 2016 are afforded the same protection as a trade mark registered under the Trade Marks Act except that the proprietor of such a Madrid mark is not entitled to damages or any other remedy for infringement of copyright in the mark which took place before the effective date.
The Madrid Regulations permit the proprietor of a mark registered in Zimbabwe, and which mark is the subject of an identical international registration whose protection extends to Zimbabwe, in circumstances where the extension to Zimbabwe took effect after the date of registration of the mark in Zimbabwe, to request the Registrar of Trade Marks on payment of the prescribed fee, to take note of the international registration.
In the event of conflict between the provisions of the Trade Marks Act and Trademark Regulations and the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations thereunder, the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations shall prevail.