Trademarks in Namibia

Our firm has a highly reputable intellectual property department and we act as correspondents for a number of international trade firms in the registration and prosecution of their clients' Trade Marks in Namibia. We further represent a number of high profile clients in the opposition of Namibia Trade Mark applications that potentially infringe on our clients Trade Marks or rights.

The law relating to Trade Marks in Namibia as its origin in common law and is further specifically regulated by statute.

Administration of Trade Marks and Patents in Namibia

The Namibian Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) has been established as the focal point for the registration of business and industrial property. BIPA is responsible for the administration and protection of business and intellectual property in Namibia.

The Namibian Industrial Property Act No. 1 of 2012 came into operation on 1 August 2018 and repealed the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act and now regulates Patents, Industrial Designs, Trade Marks and Trade Names in Namibia.

The Namibian Industrial Property Act  makes provision for Patents, Industrial Designs, Trade Marks and Trade Names.


Trade marks in Namibia

The most significant introductions in terms of the Namibian Industrial Property Act include new requirements for trade mark applications in Namibian, assignments, renewals and restorations, alterations/amendments, joint ownership, licence contracts and registered users.  There is also an increase in the official fees payable to the Namibian Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA).


Namibia now has a multi-class application system. Priority may also be claimed.


Applications may be filed in terms of the Madrid Protocol and the Banjul Agreement (ARIPO) through Namibia and our office is able to assist in this regard..


The Namibian Industrial Property Act makes it possible to register collective marks, whereas previously only certification marks were registrable. No provision is made in the Namibian Industrial Property Act for defensive trade mark registrations.  Defensive trade name protection may be obtained in Namibia thorugh the registration of a defensive name in terms of the Namibian Companies Act.


In terms of the previous legislation, trade mark applications were advertised in the Government Gazette. In terms of the Industrial Property Act  BIPA will now publish the acceptance notices in an IP Bulletin after payment of a prescribed fee.  The opposition period for any mark, patent or design that is published is two months after the date of publication in the IP Bulletin.  On payment of a fee the applicant or his Namibian attorney can request the registration certificate.


A Trade Mark Registration in Namibia is effective for an initial period of ten years and may thereafter be renewed for like periods. Non-use by owner or licensee of a Namibian Trade Mark for a period of 3 years may render a mark vulnerable to expungement upon an application filed by a third party.

Namibian Trade Mark Infringement proceedings, this must brought before the Namibian Industrial Property Tribunal, which will be established in terms of the new Act.  Further functions of the Tribunal will be hearing appeals from the Registrar. An aggrieveparty is able to appeal from the Tribunal to the Namibian High Court.


Parties will be pleased that recognition has been afforded to foreign well-known trade marks in accordance with Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.


Patents in Namibia


The Namibian Industrial Property Act recognizes Namibia’s obligations in terms of international treaties including the Patent Co-Operation Treaty (PCT), ARIPO, Madrid Agreement and the Hague Agreement.

The Namibian Industrial Property Act introduces absolute novelty and substantive examination for all patent applications. The Industrial Property Act introduces a 20 year patent term and it is important to take note that annual maintenance fees are payable for patents.