INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN RWANDA
First Renewal Term
Subsequent Renewal Term
In Rwanda, a trademark application can be filed either through the trademark section of the Rwanda Development Board (RBD) or ARIPO.
Rwanda is also a member of the Madrid Protocol; thus, the extension of international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for the country and its applicants.
The country has a multi-class trademark filing system.
The 9th edition of Nice Classification is accepted by the trademark office.
The interested third parties may file opposition actions against a trademark application within two (02) months following the date of its publication.
The registered trademarks have a validity of ten (10) years from the date of application in Rwanda, which can be further renewed indefinitely for periods of ten (10) years.
Rwanda is a member of the Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and ARIPO.
The Law No. 31/2009 OF 26/10/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property (revised in October 2018) deals with the mechanism of patent protection in Rwanda.
Process Patent and Product Patent are the two types of patents that can be protected in Rwanda.
In Rwanda, any invention that satisfies the conditions of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, subjects to patentability.
The types of patent applications in Rwanda include Non-Convention Application, Convention Application, PCT National Phase Application, and Divisional Application.
Utility Model Protection is not available under the patent law.
The time-period for the PCT National Phase Filing is thirty (30) months.
Opposition against a patent application can be raised at the post-grant stage (after the date of publication of the patent grant).
The patent of invention lasts for twenty (20) years in Rwanda.
The time frame for payment of Annuities before the due date is three (03) months.
Rwanda is a member of the Paris Convention, ARIPO, and Hague Agreement.
The Law No. 31/2009 OF 26/10/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property (revised in October 2018) deals with the mechanism of registration of industrial designs.
The types of industrial design applications in Rwanda include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.
Utility model protection isn't provided under industrial design protection in Rwanda.
Opposition against an industrial design application can't be raised in Rwanda.
The total duration of an industrial design registration is fifteen (15) years from the date of application. The initial term of registration is five (05) years, which is further extendible for two terms of (05) five years each upon payment of the renewal fee.
There is a grace period of six (06) months to renew an industrial design in Rwanda.
Rwanda is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
The LAW No. 31/2009 OF 26/10/2009 ON THE PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY deals with the mechanism of copyright protection in Rwanda.
In Rwanda, the authors of creative works are entitled to copyright protection upon creation and without any formality.
The standard copyright protection term lasts for the lifetime of the author plus fifty (50) years following his death. However, the duration of copyright protection varies depending on the type of work.