Malawi

Trade Mark

Forms part of

Yes
ARIPO
No
OAPI
No
MADRID
No
SERVICE CLASSES
NA
NICE CLASSIFICATION

10th edition

Yes
WELL-KNOWN TRADE MARKS RECOGNISED?

OAPI

ARIPO

International Arrangements

Malawi is a party the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property. It is possible to claim priority under the Paris Convention.

Classification

Malawi follows a multi-class filing system in terms of the 10th edition of the Nice Classification but does not recognise service classes.

Registration Procedure

The total time from filing to registration is approximately 18 months. Trade mark applications are examined for compliance with formal and substantive requirements and are published in the official gazette after acceptance. Trade marks may be opposed within 2 months from the date of publication.

Common Law and Well-Known Trade Marks

Well-known trade marks in terms of the Paris Convention are recognised in Malawi.

Duration of Registration, Renewal and Non-Use

Trade mark registrations are valid for 7 years from the date of filing and may be renewed indefinitely for 7-year periods thereafter.

A registered trade mark may be cancelled on action by an interested party if it has not been used for a continuous period of 3 years after the date of registration.

Customs Recordal

Customs recordals are not possible.

Patent

Forms part of

Yes
ARIPO
No
OAPI
Yes
PARIS CONVENTION
Yes
PCT

OAPI

ARIPO

International Arrangements

Paris Convention
Convention establishing World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents
Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
Lusaka Agreement

Types of Patents

Patents of Invention
Patents of Addition
ARIPO Designations

Novelty Requirements

Relative novelty applies. Not disclosed to the public anywhere in the world, by publication in tangible form, or in Malawi, by description or by use or in any other way, before the priority date.

Grace Period/Prior knowledge

No grace period

Examination procedure

Formal and substantive examination as to whether subject matter is an “invention”.

Duration & Maintenance

Sixteen years from the filing date
Annual maintenance payments

Working Requirement

A patent should be worked within three years from the date of sealing of the patent or four years from the date of filing the application, whichever period expires last. Failure so to work the patent may be grounds for grant of compulsory licenses.

Design

Forms part of

Yes
ARIPO
No
OAPI
Yes
PARIS CONVENTION

OAPI

ARIPO

International Arrangements

Paris Convention
The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents
Convention establishing World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs
Lusaka Agreement

Types of Designs

Industrial designs (no utility models)

Classification

Malawi is a party to the Locarno Union, but under national practice design applications and registrations are not classified

Novelty Requirements

National novelty requirement

Grace Period/Prior knowledge

No grace period

Examination procedure

Formal examination with possible search by the Registrar.

Duration & Maintenance

5 years from filing date which term can be extended twice for consecutive five-year periods.
Maintenance payment every 5 years.

Working requirement

If a registered design is not being used, it may become subject to the grant of compulsory licenses, but no term of non-use prescribed.