Language: Swazi, English
Capital: Lobamba ( royal/legislative), Mbabane ( administrative)
Area: 17,364 km2
Population: 1,119,000 (2015)
Currency: South African rand, Swazi lilangeni (SZL)
Religion: Christian (83%)
Geographical situation: is a sovereign state in Southern Africa. It is neighboured by Mozambique to its northeast and by South Africa to its north, west and south; it is a landlocked country.
International treaty membership:
Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (December 14, 1998)
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (December 14, 1998)
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (May 12, 1991)
Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (August 18, 1988)
Trade Marks Act, 1981 (1981)
Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade
Intellectual Property Office
Type of trademark:
A trade mark is defined to mean any visible sign used or proposed to be used upon, in connection with or in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing, in the course of trade or business, the goods or services of a person from those of another. A visible sign is defined to mean any sign which is capable of graphic reproduction including a word, name, brand, device, heading, label, ticket, signature, letter, number, relief, stamp, seal, vignette or emblem or any combination thereof.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks for goods and services, series of trade marks and parts of trade marks.
Ground for refusal :
The following shallnot be registrable:
- trade marks the use of which would be contrary to law or morality or which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion as to the nature, geographical or other origin, manufacturing process, characteristics, or suitability for their purpose, of the goods or services concerned;
- trade marks which consist solely of the shape, configuration or colour of the goods or the containers thereof;
- trade marks which are identical with, or imitate the armorial bearings) flags and other emblems, initials, names or abbreviations or initials of the name, or official sign or hallmark of any State or of any intergovernmental international organization or of any organization created by an international convention, unless authorized by the competent authority of that State or international organization;
- trade marks which constitute reproductions, in whole or in part, imitations translations or transcriptions, liable to create confusion, of trade marks or business or company names which are well known in Swaziland and belong to third parties.
The application for registration of a trade mark is filed with the Registrar of Trade Marks.
Multiple-class applications are possible. An application can include goods and/or services in any number of classes.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The following information and documents are required for registration:
- A power of attorney simply signed
- Full particulars of the applicant
- Reproductions of the mark
- Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable)
Upon the filing of an application for registration and the-payment of the prescribed fee, the Registrar shall cause an examination to be made as to:
(a) the application's conformity with the formal requirements
(b) whether the trade mark is registrable in accordance with distinctiveness and ground for refusal.
If upon the examination it appears that the applicant is entitled to the registration of his trade mark, the Registrar shall accept the application therefore and cause the trade mark to be advertised in the Gazette.
Any person may, within the time prescribed from the date of the advertisement of an application, give notice to the Registrar of opposition to the registration, on the grounds that such application does not satisfy the requirements for registration.
The Registrar shall send a copy of the notice to the applicant and, within the prescribed time after receipt thereof, the applicant shall submit to the Registrar, in the prescribed manner, a counter-statement of the grounds on which he relies for his application, and if the applicant does not do so, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application.
On an appeal from any decision of the Registrar under this section the High Court may, after hearing the Registrar, permit the trade mark proposed to be registered to be modified in any manner not substantially affecting the identity thereof, but in any such case the trade mark· as so modified shall be published in the Gazette before being registered.
When an application for registration of a trade mark has been accepted the Registrar shall, unless the application has been accepted in error, register the trade mark, and the trade mark, when registered, shall be registered as of the date on which the application for registration was received, and that date shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be the date of registration.
If upon the examination the Registrar objects to the application, he shall notify the applicant in writing of the objections and shall allow him time to submit his observations or to request a hearing and if the applicant fails to pursue his application within the time allowed, He shall be deemed to have withdrawn his application.
If the applicant does not give counter statement for opposition, he shall be deemed to have withdrawn his application.
Rights of exploitation and related delay:
The registration of a trade mark shall be for a period of ten years from the date of registration but may be renewed from time to time in accordance with this section.
The registration of a trade mark shall, if valid, give or be deemed to have given the registered proprietor thereof the exclusive fight to the use of the trade mark in relation to the goods or services in respect of which it is registered, including sale} importation and offer for sale or importation.
Transfer and conditions:
a pending trade mark or a registered trade mark shall be, and shall be deemed always to have been, assignable and transmissible in respect either of all the goods or services in respect of which it is applied for, registered, or was registered as the case may be, or of some, but not all, of those goods or services.
An assignment or transmission shall, be invalid if the assignment or transmission is likely to deceive or' cause confusion, particularly in regard to the nature, origin, manufacturing process, characteristics, or suitability for their purpose, of the goods or services in relation to which the trade mark is intended to be used or is being used.
A person entitled by assignment or transmission to a pending trade mark or to a registered trade mark shall make application to the Registrar in the prescribed manner to register his title.
Assignments and transmission of pending trademarks or of registered trademarks shall have no effect against third parties until the particulars thereof are entered in the Register.
On the registration of a trade mark, the Registrar shall cause to be issued to the applicant a certificate of registration thereof in the prescribed form and every such registration shall be published in the Gazette.
Withdrawal and cancellation:
A registered trade mark may be removed from the Register in respect of any of the goods or services in respect of which it is registered on application by any aggrieved person to the Registrar on the ground that up to one month prior to the filing of the application a continuous period of three years or longer has elapsed during which the registered proprietor has not used the trade mark in relation to those goods or services.
An officer, magistrate or member of the police force may detain any vehicle, plant, material or goods at any place for the purpose of establishing whether that vehicle, plant, material or goods are liable to forfeiture.
Any vehicle, plant, material or goods are liable to forfeiture the Commissioner may in his discretion seize them.
After the seizure, a notice shall be send to the owner.
If in the opinion of the Commissioner it is necessary for the safeguard of public health or for the safety of the public or the State, he may at any time, and at the expense and risk of the importer, exporter, owner, or pilot concerned, according as the Commissioner may determine cause any goods under customs and excise control forthwith to be destroyed.
Customs and Excise Act, 1971
Trade Marks Act, 1981 (1981)