TRADEMARKS FILING AND PROSECUTION IN MADAGASCAR
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to help consumers indentify that its products or services with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to help distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
Trademark in Madagascar may be designated by the following symbols:
- ® (for a registered trademark)
- ™ (for an unregistered trademark)
A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standards categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound.
A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. Trademark protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services.
The owner of the registered trademark may initiate legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark
|Relevant office||Malagasy Industrial Property Office Ministry of Industry, Trade and Craft (OMAPI)|
|Nice classification||Yes (10th edition)|
|Multi class system||Yes|
|Documents required for filing a trade mark application||Notarized Power of Attorney which needs to be in French or in English|
|Prosecution process||Filing administrative examination and substantive examination registration renewal|
|Registration term||10 years from the date of application|
|Renewal term||10 years|
Trademark searches in Madagascar
It is advisable to conduct a trademark search prior to filing a trademark application to ascertain the availability of trademarks, existence of prior identical/similar marks on the register etc., so as to avoid any objection and opposition with respect to the mark.
A trademark search in Madagascar can be conducted for word marks, device marks, numeral and labels. An official search can be conducted at the records of the Malagasy Industrial Property Office Ministry of Industry, Trade and Craft (OMAPI). A form for the request of trademark priority searching by electronic means can be downloaded from the official website and it has to be send to the address firstname.lastname@example.org . The search result will be obtained within 48 hours of working days after the payment of the fee.
Trademark word search edition of Madagascar follows the Nice Classification and trademark applications can be filed for goods in classes 1-34 and services in classes 35-45.
It is advisable to conduct comprehensive trademark clearance search in Madagascar to ascertain availability of the proposed mark and also to overcome any objection and opposition with respect to mark later on.
Along with trademark search, it is also advisable to do a comprehensive company search and domain search of the proposed trademark in Madagascar. It is advisable to conduct a comprehensive search for a figuration trademark. The device marks include individual marks such as stylized letters, numerals, shapes, plants, celestial bodies, living creatures etc. or combination of marks containing device marks. A device mark search in Madagascar can be conducted amongst the marks filed and registered as per the Vienna code classification.
Filing trademark application in Madagascar
A person may file a multi class or single class trademark applications in Madagascar.
Trademark application can be filed in the following categories:
- Ordinary Applications
- Convention application (claiming priority from a convention country)
Ordinary application in Madagascar:
Ordinary trademark applications filed South Korea are applications without claiming any priority. Ordinary applications can be filed online with the Malagasy Industrial Property Office Ministry of Industry, Trade and Craft (OMAPI). The link for the form is available on the official website of the registry and it has to be send on the address email@example.com mentioning in the subject “trademark registration application by its name”. Multi class trademark applications can be filed in Madagascar. However, the trademarks act also lays down provisions regarding the filing of priority applications, wherein priority of the mark can be claimed in the said mark filed in a convention country.
Priority trademark applications in Madagascar/Convention trademark application in Madagascar:
A priority trademark application may be filed in Madagascar. A priority trademark application should be filed in Madagascar within 6 months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country.
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, signed in Paris, France, on March 20, 1883, established a Union for the protection of industrial property. It offers national treatment to the applicant residing in the member country of the union, in other words. National treatment is a very important concept and is essential for successfully achieving the fundamental aim of the Paris Convention. The idea is to provide equal treatment to applications from member countries, in a given member country and not to differentiate between the nationals of member countries for the purpose of grant, and protection of industrial property. Priority application can be filed in Madagascar within six months of after the date on which the application was made in the Convention Countries.
Trademark classes for goods and services
Madagascar follows the nice classification of classes. Malagasy Industrial Property Office Ministry of Industry, Trade and Craft (OMAPI) uses the nice classification of classes that groups together similar goods or services into 45 different classes. Classes 1 to 34 are assigned for the goods and classes 35 to 45 are assigned for the services. Each class contains well defines list of terms and cover all the goods and services
Trademark examination in Madagascar
Prior to the registration the application for the registration is subject to the administrative examination and substantive examination.
Administrative examination of the application is done for ascertaining that the prescribed fee has been paid and all the essential elements of the filings are correct like drafting of the applications, designating of goods and services etc.
Where the application does not comply, the applicant or the successor in title shall be called to make necessary changes in accordance with the conditions laid down in the decree.
The application for the registration if satisfies the conditions of the administrative examination then it shall be subject to the substantive examination and it will ascertain that the application is not in conflict with Article 57 of the act. If the application for registration satisfies this condition, it shall carry out the registration of the mark and publish it in the official gazette of the industrial property.
In case the registration of the mark is refused, the applicant may appeal this decision in the competent court within the prescribed time period.
Trademark opposition in Madagascar
It is not possible to oppose an application in Madagascar. Legal action can be taken after registration.
Trademark registration in Madagascar
On the successful completion of the administrative examination and substantive examination, the trademark is registered for 10 years from the date of application and the registration certificate is issued.