On March 30, 2016, a new Industrial Property Code came into effect in Mozambique. The new law maintains and reinforces its similarity with Portuguese intellectual property law. Noteworthy changes include the following:
- The deadline to correct formalities in applications has been extended from fifteen to thirty days, counted from the notification date.
- A certified copy of the priority application must be submitted in support of a priority claim.
- The trademark opposition deadline has been shortened from sixty to thirty days (but a sixty-day extension is available on request). Where no allegations are filed by the applicant, the application is deemed withdrawn.
- The new law clarifies that a prior trademark is a ground for refusal if it covers goods or services that are identical or similar to an applied-for mark (the former law specified only “identical” goods or services).
- The deadline to invalidate IP rights based on the plaintiff’s prior rights has been shortened from one year to ninety days, counted from publication of the grant of the right.
- Prior rights for trademarks, logos, and other distinctive signs registered by the Mozambique PTO may constitute grounds to invalidate confusingly-similar company names, with the action being instituted within five years after publication of the company by-laws.
- Appeals of Office decisions may be made to the Director of the Industrial Property Institute within thirty days after publication of the decision. Further, the Director’s decision may be appealed to the competent supervising Minister of the Government of Mozambique or to the Administrative Court.
- Rules applied to national registrations also apply to African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) registrations.