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  • Writer's pictureAisha Playton

AFRICAN TRADEMARK CHEATSHEET SERIES: BASICS OF TM PROSECUTION IN MOZAMBIQUE

Updated: 5 days ago


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Mozambiquan Trademark Stats


Madrid Protocol member: Yes, Mozambique is a member state to the Madrid System.

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

ARIPO member: Yes, Mozambique is a member state of the ARIPO system.

OAPI member: No, Mozambique is not a member state of the OAPI system.

Renewal term: The renewal term to maintain trademark rights in Mozambique is every 10 years.

Non-use period: There is not necessarily a non-use period in Mozambique. However, holders of trademark rights in the region are required to submit a Declaration of Intent to Use (DIU) to the national Industrial Property Institute every five years in order guarantee the maintenance of their rights.

Opposition period: The opposition period to registration of a trademark application in Mozambique is 30 days.

First-to-file jurisdiction: Yes, Mozambique is a first to file jurisdiction.

Priority claim: Yes, priority claims are permitted in Mozambique, provided that prior filing occurred in a jurisdiction that is also a signatory to the Paris Convention.

Application-to-Registration term: The period from trademark application to registration in Mozambique is approximately 12-18 months provided there are no issues with the application.

Power of Attorney: Intellectual Property agents in Mozambique require a notarised power of attorney document in order to prosecute a trademark application on your behalf.



Today, we highlight our vibrant tropical neighbouring country, Mozambique. This key African jurisdiction recently cemented its commitment to centralising the burgeoning African IP market by assenting to the ARIPO intellectual property system in 2020. 


As a member of the Madrid and ARIPO intellectual property systems, Mozambique offers multiple paths to securing your trademark rights. The first route is through international protection via the multi-continent global IP registration system, the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol is a system established and run by WIPO that serves as the principal global mechanism for expediting the intellectual property registration process across a multitude of jurisdictions worldwide. Next, applicants can pursue regional trademark protection in Mozambique through the Banjul Protocol on Marks belonging to the ARIPO system. ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation) facilitates trademark filing and registration across multiple African markets. Lastly, applicants are also able to follow a more traditional route where they may pursue national trademark rights, which would grant successful applicants trademark rights solely in Mozambique. 


Many categories of trademark rights are eligible for registration in this jurisdiction, from traditional word and device marks to defensive and collective marks. However, applicants cannot successfully pursue registration of multiclass trademarks, marks that would be considered deceptive or contra bonos mores, or even marks that bear resemblance to any flags or armorial bearing. Individuals or juristic entities are eligible to register trademark rights in the region. However, any foreign persons or organisations would require a local agent to represent their interests throughout the process.


Naturally, since three avenues for trademark protection exist in this jurisdiction, each system of trademark protection will have a unique set of requirements and application processes. All trademark applications which are processed through the ARIPO and Madrid systems are prosecuted through standardised systems, which we will discuss in more detail later in this series. Before we begin to break down the national prosecutorial process, it's important to note that each mark that an applicant registers which applies to the same product or service may only have one registration. 


Now, let's dissect the unique trademark prosecution process for filing a national trademark application in Mozambique. The process should begin with the applicant furnishing their local Mozambiquan agent with the documents and information required to prepare the application, which must be entirely completed in Portuguese. This includes a notarised power of attorney document and a reproduction of the mark, which should be accompanied by any relevant transliteration documents that may be required to accurately decipher the mark. In addition, the agent should also be furnished with a comprehensive list of the products and/or services to which the mark will feature organised by relevant Nice classification, the required official fee, all rudimentary information required to complete the trademark application form, and a certified copy of the priority document in the event that priority will be claimed. Once completed, the application and accompanying documents and information are submitted to the registrar, and the mark proceeds to the publication stage, where it is published in the national journal, entitled the Industrial Property Bulletin and subject to opposition by interested parties for a 30-day period. Should no applications for opposition be filed or succeed, the mark will then undergo a substantive examination process, where the registrar's office will ascertain whether the mark is eligible for registration in its desired class(es) in addition to ensuring that the mark does not conflict with any existing marks on the trademark registry that have been registered in the same class. Should the applicant's mark be deemed unique and suitable for registration in the desired class(es), the mark will proceed to registration, whereafter the applicant will enjoy full trademark rights in Mozambique for ten years before renewal is required. While certification marks may not be eligible for registration through the multilateral IP systems in operation in Mozambique, geographical indication rights are available to applicants through the national registration process. 


The trademark assignment process in Mozambique is relatively standard. For applicants to successfully conclude a trademark assignment, they will be required to furnish their local agent with a notarised power of attorney document, a notarised deed of assignment, along with the requisite official fees and the particulars of the entity or person to which the trademark will be assigned. Once the application has been processed by the Industrial Property Institute, the change in ownership will shortly be published in the national journal and will be reflected in the Industrial Property Institute's database.


A unique feature of the trademark prosecution protocol in Mozambique is the DIU. Not to be confused with the nefarious acronym DUI, the DIU, or Declaration of Intent to Use, is a mandatory reoccurring procedural obligation for Mozambiquan trademark holders. This prosecutorial requirement is necessary regardless of the intellectual property filing system used to obtain trademark rights. The DIU allows trademark holders to maintain their trademark rights in the region whether there is a presence or use of the trademark in the marketplace or not. In short, the use of the registered mark is not a requirement for validity in Mozambique. So, how does a trademark holder go about submitting a DIU? The DIU must be submitted to the Mozambiquan Industrial Property Institute offices every five-year cycle from the initial filing date of the trademark application, not including the renewal year. Integrating the DIU system into the national trademark prosecution protocol can frequently pose substantial challenges for a prospective trademark holder aiming to register a mark that closely resembles an existing registered mark. If an existing trademark holder is not using a mark but continues to maintain their DIU and renewal mandates, an aspirant trademark holder with a confusingly similar mark has no path to register their mark too, or oppose the existing trademark on the grounds of non-use. In addition to this, the existing trademark holder may successfully oppose any attempts to register this similar mark, despite their existing mark not being in use.


That's a wrap, we hope that you found this content on the trademark prosecution landscape in breathtaking Mozambique useful! PS: If you missed the previous editions of this series that discussed trademark prosecution in Nigeria and South Africa, no problem! Simply click the relevant link below to access the information that you'd like:



If you have any questions regarding trademark prosecution in Mozambique and other African nations, please feel free to pop our IP Prosecutions team an email at info@debeerattorneys.com and we will be in contact with you as soon as we can.


Chat soon!


This information was last updated on 24 April 2024. This information is for general educational and entertainment purposes and is subject to change at any time.

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