São Tomé is a party to the Madrid System for international registration of trade marks, 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.
Although São Tomé is a signatory to the Madrid System it has not amended its national legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Madrid system and it is therefore questionable whether international registrations designating São Tomé are enforceable in São Tomé.
São Tomé follows a multi-class filing system in terms of the 10th edition of the Nice Classification.
The total time from filing to registration is approximately 10 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 90 days from the date of publication.