The Registrar General of Intellectual Property in Sudan has recently announced a change in the prosecution of trade marks in Sudan. The mandate of committees of appeal has been terminated, meaning that all written submissions challenging official actions must now be filed as applications before the High Court.
The rationale behind the Registrar General of Intellectual Property’s decision is jurisdictional. Article 16(2) of The Trade Marks Act, 1969 states; “Any refusal by the Registrar to register a mark or any condition, amendment, modification or limitation imposed by him shall be subject to appeal to the Court.”
The Registrar General has interpreted the above section as limiting jurisdiction to receive arguments against official actions to the Courts. Practically speaking, interested parties will now have to challenge unfavourable official actions by filing an application with the High Court. This application must be filed within one month from the date of issuance of the official action.
To date, no decision has been taken or communicated in respect of pending appeals lodged with the committee of appeals prior to the Registrar General’s announcement.