trademark application Congo

Trademark registration Republic of Congo

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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Republic of Congo?

The costs of trademark registration in Republic of Congo depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get  protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.


How do you get a trademark registration in Republic of Congo?

The umbrella organization OAPI is the designated body for trademark registration in Congo. The Organization Africaine de la Propiété is responsible for everything to do with intellectual property in seventeen African countries. The largest number of OAPI countries are French-speaking, Congo being one of them. Well-known African countries such as Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Senegal are also members of the OAPI.

Because the application for a trademark in Congo goes through the OAPI, an approved registration is also valid in the other sixteen Member States. In addition, the OAPI is a member of the Madrid Protocol. This enables Congo to more easily arrange a worldwide trademark registration. Via the Madrid protocol it is possible to arrange trademark registration in more than a hundred countries with one application.


Right to r symbol

Trademark registration in Congo also entitles you to use the globally recognized r symbol. This symbol shows that your brand is exclusive and officially registered. Only registered brands may use the r symbol. It is forbidden for unregistered brands to use the r symbol in their expressions.


When can you object to applications by third parties?

Trademark registration in Congo provides protection against confusing marks. For example, third parties cannot simply register a comparable trademark. You have the right to object to a third party on the basis of confusing similarity, provided the brand shows (partial) similarities or if a party wants to use the brand for comparable products and/or goods.


Word, figurative and combined trademark

Trademark registration in Congo can be done in three different ways. A distinction is made between the word mark, the figurative mark and the combined trademark. The word mark consists only of letters and numbers, or alphanumeric characters. The logo does not have these alphanumeric characters, but instead contains graphic elements such as images and emblems.


The combined trademark

The combined trademark is a combination of the figurative mark and word mark. A combined trademark therefore consists of alphanumeric characters and graphic material. The registered must be used exactly according to the registration. This means that word and image elements may not appear separately from each other. You will have to register these elements separately.


How long does the application process in Congo take exactly?

The OAPI needs some time to process the trademark registration in Congo. The process usually takes ten to fourteen months. There are factors that can significantly slow down the process. There is a chance that OAPI will consider the application unsatisfactory. The organization handles trademark applications in Congo mainly formally and not substantively, which means that identical or comparable existing trademarks are less looked at.


Third Party Objection

In addition, third parties can seriously delay the application. After the application for your trademark has been published in the state newspaper of Congo, a third party has six months to object. You then have three months to respond to the objection. A hearing will then take place and the verdict will follow four to six months later. It is also possible to appeal against that decision.


How long is the trademark valid?

The validity of an approved trademark in Congo starts from the date of application and is valid for ten years from that moment. The validity is called into question as soon as the trademark has not been used for five years. From that moment on, third parties can cancel your registration. Renewal of the brand is possible in periods of ten years. After the expiration date, there is a grace period of six months.


What documents are required for the trademark application in Congo?

The OAPI accepts requests for both services and products. The body wants to receive various information from you with the application. This includes the following points:

  • Overview of name and address details
  • Trademark Example
  • Overview with class(es) based on the Nice classification system
  • Priority document (certified copy), with French or English certified translation
  • Signature of power of attorney

Nice classification system

Determination of the class(es) is done on the basis of the Nice classification system (NCL). The NCL is the standard worldwide. The system consists of 45 different classes. Classes 1 to 34 apply to products, the remaining eleven to services. For the exact distribution, see the official documentation of the Nice classification system.


Registration of products and services

If you want to apply for a trademark for both products and services, this must be done separately. It is not possible to register a trademark for products and services via an application, both must be done separately. One price applies for registration in three different classes. An additional charge applies for each additional class.

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