AB & Co. IP Services

Legal Framework

In Sierra Leone, registration confers the exclusive right to use the mark and to bring actions for infringement. Trademarks and certification marks are protected. The documents required for filing an application are a Power of Attorney simply signed and the supporting documents for the application which are considered at the discretion of the Registrar.

There are provisions for United Kingdom Trademarks, Certification Marks and Series Marks, there are however no provisions for Service Marks and Series Marks.

International Arrangements

  • Paris Union, Madrid Union (Agreement and Protocol), TRIPS
  • Although Sierra Leone is a member of the Paris Convention there is no provision in the legislation relating to international arrangements. It is not possible therefore, to claim convention priority.
  • Local legislation must be passed in order to give effect to the country’s international obligations. No legislation has as yet been passed to recognise Sierra Leone’s Madrid obligations. Therefore international registrations are unenforceable in Sierra Leone.

Trademark Application Requirements

  • Full names of the applicant.
  • Nationality of the applicant.
  • Physical and postal address of the applicant.
  • Mark classification.
  • Signed Power of Attorney.
  • Translation in English if a word mark is not in English.
  • Certified copy of priority document, if priority is to be claimed.

Submissions

  • A printing block and four (4) representations of the mark are required.
  • Two representations for each application for an additional class are required.
  • A certified copy of the British registration if the mark relates to cotton goods falling in classes 23, 24 and 25.
  • Ten (10) prints in colour if colour is claimed.
  • A translation must be provided if a word mark is not in English.
  • Multi-class applications are not possible. A separate application is required for each class.

Trademark Requirements

  • The mark must be new and original.
  • The mark must be used in trade.

Trademark Classification

  • The old British classification of 50 classes of goods apply.

Trademark Duration

  • As long as a registered trademark is renewed and used in trade, it can last forever.

Trademark Renewals

  • The duration of a registered mark is fourteen (14) years.
  • If a registered trade mark has not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, it may be expunged

Oppositions

  • In case of fraud, the Registrar may apply in person to cancel or expunge an entry or refuse the application.
  • Any person may lodge a Notice of Opposition within three months and not exceeding 9 months.

Trademark Licensing

  • In case of independent trademarks there is no local legislation providing for the recordal of licenses.
  • In the case of U.K. – based registrations the documents required are:
    1. Powers of Attorney, simply signed, from both the proprietor and the licensee; and
    2. Proof of recordal of registered user against the basic U.K. registration.