SIPI Law Associates is actively engaged in protecting clients' brands and market positions through registration of their trademarks and enforcing their protection through litigation and other anti-counterfeiting measures. Trademark law in Uganda is currently governed by the Trademark Act, Cap 217, the Trademark Rules, and ammendments thereto. The Trademark Act act basically extends protection to individuals and corporations to trade marks registered under it. It gives the registered owner of a trademark a right to use it to the exclusion of all other persons but permits the owner to license or assign it to other persons. A trademark in Uganda is valid for 7 years and can thereafter be renewed for 14 year durations. A comprehensive trademark guide for foreign applicants in Uganda published by the World Trademark Law Report can be downloaded here. A wall chart or quick guide to trademark filing, renewals and protection in over 45 jurisdictions can be downloaded here.
Current challenges to the enforcement of trademark law in Uganda include lack of a specific institution charged with fighting counterfeits. Service marks are still not registrable as yet which acts as a barrier to intending applicants.
Overall, protection accorded goods with trademark protection is hoped to increase due to a renewed zeal to keep counterfeits out of the East African Customs Union (EACU) area. This fight is being spearheaded by Standards authorities in Kenya , Tanzania and Uganda , with Kenya being at the forefront of the fight with its proposed Counterfeits Goods Bill, 2005.
In terms of registration of international applications, although Uganda is a member of the Paris Convention, it has not ratified the Madrid Protocol.
- Trademark Act, Cap 217
- Trademark Rules
- Trademark (amendment) rules, 1988
- Trademark (ammendment) Rules, 2005