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  • Writer's pictureAisha Playton

AFRICAN TM CHEATSHEET SERIES: THE BASICS OF TRADEMARK PROSECUTION IN ANGOLA

Updated: 4 days ago

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Angolan trademark prosecution statistics

Angolan Trademark Stats


Madrid Protocol member: No, Angola is not a member state of the Madrid System.

Paris Convention signatory: Yes, Angola is a signatory to the Paris Convention.

ARIPO member: No, Angola is not a member state of the ARIPO system, therefore trademark applicants may not designate Angola in an ARIPO intellectual property application.

OAPI member: No, Angola is not a member state of the OAPI system, therefore trademark applicants may not designate Angola in an OAPI intellectual property application.

Renewal term: Angolan trademarks are due for renewal every ten years.

Non-use period: Registered trademarks in Angola may be deregistered due to non-use if they remain unused for two consecutive years following the granting date.

Opposition period: The opposition period for trademark applications in Angola is 60 days, but this period may be extended for an additional 30 days.

First-to-file jurisdiction: Yes, Angola is a file-to-file jurisdiction.

Priority claim: Yes, priority may be claimed in Angola within six months of the trademark application being filed in its prior jurisdiction, provided the prior jurisdiction is also a signatory to the Paris Convention.

Application-to-Registration term: The period from filing a trademark application to granting of registered trademark rights in Angola is approximately 36-48 months.

Power of Attorney: Trademark applications in Angola require a notarized physical Power of Attorney document that is legalised up to the Angolan Consulate, and accompanied by a translation of the document in Portuguese.



Pop quiz: which African nation is known as The Land of the Giant Sable? If you guessed Angola, you would be correct!


Angola is a stunning Southern African nation with breathtaking scenery and captivating indigenous wildlife. Beyond its natural beauty, Angola has a rich and fascinating heritage, notoriously friendly locals and an ever-expanding economy. For foreigners looking for promising business opportunities and a great vacation on the continent, Angola is an ideal destination.


While Angola is a land of many possibilities, when it comes to intellectual property registration, only one avenue for securing protection for your IP exists, and that is through national registration. Angola does not locally implement the OAPI, ARIPO or Madrid intellectual property registration systems. While many revised drafts of a new Angolan Industrial Property Act have been submitted to the government for approval, the Bill has yet to be finalised and, as such, intellectual property protection in Angola is still governed by the Intellectual Property Act, Law No. 3-92 of February 28, 1992.


Many of the most common forms of trademarks may be eligible for registration in Angola. These marks include; device, word, phrase, colour, design, shape, or number marks. To be registrable, trademarks in this market must function as a visually distinguishable factor that differentiates the applicant's brand from others. In Angola, it is not permitted to register non-visual marks, misleading or confusingly similar marks, marks including unsubstantiated geographical indications, marks including attributions to national flags or emblems, marks that are contrary to the good morals of Angolan society, or commercial marks that are not affiliated with the applicant or their business.


Angola allows natural and juristic persons to secure trademark rights in its jurisdiction. Where foreign applicants with commercial or professional interests in Angola are concerned, it is mandated that such applicants secure the assistance of a local agent firm to handle trademark prosecution on their behalf.


The trademark prosecution landscape in Angola has some unique traits in comparison to other major systems on the continent. Let's spotlight a few of these interesting elements of filing your trademark application in this key African market.


First off, Angola has not digitised its trademark application process. This means that all trademark applications submitted in this country must be physically filed with the offices of the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property, IAPI.


Next, Angola is not a signatory to the Nice Agreement. Despite not being a member state of the Nice Agreement, trademark applicants will still file their applications with the national regulatory body, the IAPI (Instituto Angolano da Propriedade Industrial), by designating their mark per the Nice Classification applicable to their commercial industry.


Trademark applicants in Angola cannot file multi-class trademark applications because Angola is a single-class jurisdiction. Should you wish to pursue trademark protection for a single mark in multiple classes, this can only be achieved by filing separate applications for each desired class. Following this, applicants are also restricted to designating a maximum of five goods and/or services per application. If an applicant wishes to designate more than five goods or services per class, this can be facilitated by paying an additional fee.


Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of the trademark application journey in Angola! To start the process, aspirant trademark holders must complete a national application request and physically submit this form to the Angolan Patent and Trademarks Office. This application must be submitted along with a duly executed power of attorney document, the original priority document if priority is to be claimed, a designation of the goods and services which the mark will cover, the prescribed official application fee, and, in the case of a juristic applicant, evidence of the incorporation of the entity seeking trademark protection in Angola. All supporting documentation to the application request must be accompanied by a Portuguese translation of each document that has been notarised and legalised by the Angolan embassy or consulate nearest to you. It is possible to delay the submission of these supporting documents by 30-day increments subject to payment of a fee and the presence of good reasoning for the delay.


Following the submission of an application request to the IAPI, applicants will, in the weeks to follow, be issued with an official form from the Patent and Trademark Office. This official form will, among other things, assign them a trademark application number. Within approximately six months of the application filing date, the mark will proceed to the publication stage, where it will appear in the national IP Bulletin for a two-month period. During this time, interested parties may lodge a formal opposition to the registration of the mark in this jurisdiction. It is important to note that this opposition period may be subject to extension in exceptional circumstances.


Should the trademark emerge from the publication period successfully unopposed, it will then undergo formal and substantive examination by the Angolan Patent and Trademark Office to ensure that the mark complies with all requirements for a valid trademark per national legislation and that the mark does not infringe on any marks presently registered in Angola. If the applicant's trademark gets the green light from the Angolan Patents and Trademarks Office following its examination, the mark will officially be granted and published in the IP Bulletin yet again to mark its successful registration in Angola.


It is wise for trademark applicants to bear in mind that it may take quite some time following the granting of registered trademark rights until the IAPI furnishes the trademark holder with their official registration certificate.


In the unfortunate event that the IAPI refuses to register a trademark in Angola, applicants may approach the local judicial system to contest this decision.


Now that we've covered the trademark application process, let's detail the protocol surrounding trademark assignment in Angola. The recordal of a deed of assignment at the IAPI, along with its accompanying documents and prescribed fee is essential for an assignee to gain enforceable trademark rights in the market. The successful recordal of a trademark assignment requires the submission of a deed of assignment executed by the assigner and assignee, a power of attorney executed by the assignee and the certificate of incorporation of the assignee. All of these documents must be completed in Portuguese, duly legalised and notarised by an Angolan embassy or consulate. Should it not be possible to complete these documents in the prescribed language, legalised and notarized Portuguese translations of these documents must be submitted, too.


Lastly, let's touch on security interests in this market. While there is no defined legislated protocol regarding the recordal of hypothec over intellectual property, it is broadly understood that for such interests to be recognised in Angola, the agreement concerning such security interests must be legalised by an Angolan embassy or consulate and filed with the IAPI.


That's a wrap on our discussion of trademark prosecution in Angola! Do you have any further questions regarding the nuances of trademark law in this market? If you would like to know more about trademark prosecution in Angola and other African territories, please feel free to reach out to our IP Prosecutions team at info@debeerattorneys.com and we will be in contact with you as soon as we can.


PS: If you would like to explore previous instalments of this series that discuss trademark prosecution in other African markets, no problem! Simply click the relevant link below to access the information that you'd like:



Totsiens and sala kakuhle!



This information was last updated on 26 June 2024. This information is for general educational and entertainment purposes and is subject to change at any time.

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