Intellectual Property Law

The firm’s specialty lies in the area of filing for protection of different forms of intellectual property in Uganda as well as within the ARIPO member states. The firm has also done significant advisory work for public sector clients on the policy and regulatory environment related to intellectual property, Science & technology in Uganda. We also pride ourselves in advising clients on arrangements for the commercialization of all their Intellectual property assets and enforcement measures where necessary. Overarching aspects of our IP practice include advising on franchising arrangements as well as aspects of advertising.

Currently, Uganda’s principal legislation includes the Industrial Property Act 2014, the Trademarks Act 2010, the Copyright Act 2006, the Trade Secrets Act and the Geographical Indications Act. Related policies include the Science Technology and Innovation policy, the Industrialization Policy as well as the Trade Policy of Uganda.

In an interesting Trademark opposition ruling Mr. Gilbert Agaba, Assistant Registrar, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) on May 21st 2015 upheld an opposition against trademark application ‘Nairobi Java House’ in class 43. The opposition was brought by the proprietors of Javas cafe, a popular Ugandan fast food chain who own the trademark Café Javas in the same class. The registrar rejected the argument that the word Java is generic or that the two marks could coexist. More importantly, he found that based on the territoriality principle, a trademark that is well known in Kenya cannot ride on the well know mark doctrine in Uganda without proof of use in the market where the proceedings are taking place. A copy of the ruling can be got here.