On 30 March 2016, a new Industrial Property Code (the “Code”) came into force in Mozambique. We draw your attention to the following noteworthy changes brought about by the Code:

  • The deadline for invalidating IP rights on the basis of prior conflicting rights has been shortened from one year to 90 days, calculated from the publication of the initial decision of the Industrial Property Institute (“IPI”) granting the IP right.
  • The deadline for correcting formalities related to applications has been extended from 15 to 30 days, calculated from the date of notification.
  • An appeal to contest a decision to refuse or grant a rightmay be lodged with the Director of the IPI within 30 days of the publication of the decision. In addition, a party may lodge an appeal to contest the Director’s decision with the supervising Minister or the Administrative Court.
  • The deadline for filing oppositions against applications for utility models, industrial designs or trade marks has been shortened from 60 days to 30 days. Where no response is filed by the applicant, the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.
  • The IPI will, on request of the applicant, examine national patent applications. If no request for examination is filed within the deadline, the patent will be deemed to be withdrawn. If a patent is provisionally refused following examination, the applicant will be given the opportunity to submit observations before a final decision is made by the IPI Director.
  • Prior rights in respect of registered trade marks now qualify as a ground for the invalidation of confusingly similar company names, with a five-year deadline for initiating the invalidation action.
  • A prior registration covering goods or services that are similar to a later registration will now also constitute a ground for refusal. Previously, provision was only made for identical goods or services.
  • A priority claim under the Paris Convention must be supported by a certified copy of the prior application.
  • The deadline period for oppositions has been reduced from 60 to 30 days. However, the applicant may request a 60-day extension.
  • The deadline for filing Declarations of Intention to Use is now calculated from the date of the international registration at WIPO.