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March 21, 2017

Zimbabwe Parliament has recently passed resolutions approving the draft Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations. Zimbabwe became a party to the Madrid Protocol in March of 2015. The Madrid Protocol and the Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations aim to streamline the procedure in terms of where a trade mark registered in countries which are party to the Madrid Protocol are automatically deemed to be legally effective in the other member country. The rationale is to mitigate and circumvent often costly and bureaucratic trademark registration processes and to avoid duplication of process.
Of importance to note: For the purpose of the Trademarks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations, the Trade Marks Regulations, 2005 and the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04] (Trade Marks Act) apply (to the extent applicable and with all necessary modifications) to any holder of an international registration designating Zimbabwe, and to any applicant of an international application originating from Zimbabwe. Moreover, in the event of conflict between the provisions of the Trade Marks Regulations and Trade Marks Act and those of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations thereunder, the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations shall prevail.
The adoption of the resolution approving the draft Trademarks Regulations marks another significant step towards improving the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe by foreign investors, and the recognition of the importance of protection of IP by foreign investors locally.
The draft Regulations are now expected to be gazetted as law in a statutory instrument in order for the Protocol to be fully operational in Zimbabwe.
Please see the draft Regulations here.