Country: Republic Of Guinea Bissau
Filing Of Trademarks In Guinea Bissau - OAPI
There are 2 ways to apply for a trademark:
1. NATIONAL REGISTRATION: Within the territory of Guinea Bissau
2. OAPI – Member Countries Listed Below.
Central African Republic
REQUISITE FOR A TRADEMARKS TO BE REGISTRABLE:
The mark is a visible sign used by a natural or legal person to distinguish its products or services from those of its competitors.
KINDS OF TRADEMARKS REGISTRABLE:
· Surnames &Pseudonyms
· Arbitrary or fanciful names
· Characteristic form of product or its packaging
· Combinations and provisions of colors
· Designs & Features
· Letters & Numbers
CONDITIONS FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS UNDER OAPI:
To be protected, the mark must fulfill the following conditions:
1. It must be distinctive in the sense that it must not describe or be the required designation of the product covered.
2. It must be available in the sense that it must not have undergone a previous appropriation. It must not already have been the subject of a record for the benefit of another person; in the same class of products for the products or services or similar services, in compliance with the principle of specialty;
3. It must not be contrary to order public or morality;
4. Mark must not be deceiving to the public about its geographical origin, nature or characteristics of the products or services;
5. It must not be similar to the coat of arms or official hallmarks, or reproduce the colours of the flags of countries or the abbreviation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to a cross.
6. Furthermore, the mark to be protected must be subject to an application for registration with OAPI.
INDIVIDUAL MARKS, COLLECTIVE MARKS, WELL-KNOWN MARKS UNDER OAPI:
Individual marks differentiate products or services offered by one undertaking from those of other companies or competitors.
Collective marks have to comply with the conditions of use laid down by regulation approved by the competent authority. Its legal regime is significantly different from that of the individual mark.
Persons entitled to benefit from the collective marks are, unions, groups of producers, industrial, artisans or merchants.
When a brand, be it individual or collective, acquires a certain reputation it will becomes well known and enjoys a special regime of protection.
The mark may be considered well known, once it is known to a large fraction of the public. So it is not that the mark is known to a public specialized in a particular trade or industry, for example in a professional circle. Most often it will be required that the mark is known of a large part of the public, i.e. the whole of the population. Moreover, the reputation must be found in the country where protection is sought. No doubt, is it not necessary that the mark is used in the country, but it is necessary that it be known.
Unlike ordinary marks, the well-known mark is not required to be a repository for legal protection. The assessment of the reputation is the sovereign power of the judge.
OPPOSITION PROCESS UNDER OAPI:
This is the procedure for opposition and the claim of property:
Opposition procedures take place before the Director General of OAPI. The decision by the Director General concerning an objection or a claim of ownership is appealable before the superior Commission of appeal of the OAPI, composed of nationals of the Member States of OAPI magistrates.
The protection of a mark through the Director General’s orders as a sign for products or specific services that are indicated at the time of filing of the trade mark would be based on the principle of distinctiveness of the mark.
A request for opposition to the Director-General, would be based on two assumptions:
(i). Either the application in question concerns an identical sign for goods or services.
(ii) Is he there step strict identity but similarity of the sign or the products or services. In the latter case, that the opposition is received, should prove that there may be a likelihood of confusion in the mind of the consumer of average attention.
Claim procedure cannot intervene in the event that the deposit made by a third party is fraudulent, that the third party has filed a trademark with the intent to harm.
The success of the action in property claim assumes that the applicant demonstrates on the one hand the prior use on the sign is able to prove fraud or breach of a right.
The objection or claim of ownership is exercised within a period of six months from the publication. After that, it is no longer possible to exercise any opposition.
THE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN OAPI:
Following are the judicial proceedings that take place at OAPI:
· The action for revocation
· The strike action
· the infringement action and
· the action for unfair competition