Definition of trademark

A trademark is a sign that is used to distinguish the goods and services offered by one undertaking from those of another. The trademark must be able to distinguish goods and services and should not be misleading.

A trademark may consist of any word, symbol, design, slogan, logo, color, label, name, signature, letter, numeral or any combination of them and should be capable of being represented graphically. A trademark protects goods whereas service mark protects services of the registered user.

Trademark registration in Uganda is governed by the Trademarks Act, 2010. The Act provides for among other things; the registration of trademarks, the procedure for and duration of registration, the effect of trademark registration and action for infringement of a trademark, the  fees for legal proceedings and appeals and trademark related offenses.

Rights associated with trademark registration in Uganda

  1. Exclusive use of the trademark for goods and services or both upon registration.
  2. Right to stop other people from using the trademark without the permission of the owner.
  3. Trademark provides legal protection from imitators trying to profit from the business identity of a registered user of the trademark.
  4. Trademark is a valuable intellectual property business asset that can be sold or licensed, assigned or transmitted.
  5. The registered user of trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of the trademark.

Duration of the term of registered trademark

The duration of trademark upon registration is for a period of seven years and upon expiry is renewed every ten years.