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The Regulations regarding the new Industrial Property Act 2010 have been signed by the Minister and will be published on 31 August 2012 and will come into effect as of 1 September 2012.
The main elements of the new law and regulations are:
- Patents: opposition against published patent is now possible before grant.
- PCT applications are now possible since Botswana has acceded to this treaty in 2003.
- Utility Model applications are now possible.
- Industrial Designs: according to the new Act disqualifies the designs on functionality and technical considerations, while the old law refers only to the appearance of a product and not its function.
- International Registration of Industrial Designs under the Hague Agreement is acceptable since Botswana acceded to the Hague Agreement in December 2006.
- Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits are can be protected now.
Amendments to Trademarks:
- Marks, Collective marks, Trade Names and well-known trademarks:
The new law provides for the protection of collective marks, trade names and recognition of well-known trademarks.
- Lapsed marks can now be reinstated upon giving compelling reasons. e. g lack of knowledge of the trademark law or to unforeseen circumstances. After payment of penalty fees.
- International Registration under Madrid Protocol by designating Botswana as it was acceded to the Madrid Agreement in December 2006.
- Geographical Indications: New provision on the protection of Geographical Indications.
Acts of Unfair Competition:
- The provision has been broadened in as far as what constitutes unfair competition and empowers individuals or associations to seek remedies through the courts of law when an act of unfair competition has been committed.
Traditional Knowledge and Handicrafts:
- The Act introduces new provisions on the protection of traditional knowledge and handicrafts.
Finally, please note that the official fees required for intellectual property registration were increased by 50%.