The Ministry of IP in South Sudan (The Ministry) has announced that it is allowing trade mark owners to “reserve” their trade marks, applications for which are being accepted immediately.
Since South Sudan gained independence in 2011, registered trade mark protection has not been available. Trade mark registrations obtained in Sudan are not valid in South Sudan, even if they were obtained prior to its independence. South Sudan’s Intellectual Property Bill 2015 (the Bill) is before Parliament but has not yet been passed into law. In the interim, The Ministry has introduced a “reservation” system to act as a type of cautionary notice, whereby the general public is notified that a trade mark owner is using a mark. Further, when you “reserve” a mark, it will stop a third party from registering a similar mark once the Bill has passed into law. Registration of a reserved mark once the Bill has been passed will not happen automatically; it is likely that a further application for registration will be required.
If you wish to “reserve” a mark, it is our understanding that no documentation confirming the reservation will be issued. However, the mark will be entered into The Ministry’s database and the application for reservation will be stamped with The Ministry’s official stamp.
As this is a new system, it is possible that there will be changes to the procedure as outlined above.
If you are interested in reserving a mark in South Sudan or have any queries regarding the reservation process and related costs, please get in touch.