African Country Page

TRADEMARK

Opposition Term

30 days

First Renewal Term

10 Years

Subsequent Renewal Term

10 Years

Registration Term

10 Years

  • Malawi is a member of the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) and a signatory to the Banjul Protocol.
  • In Malawi, local trademark registration is done through the Department of the Registrar General Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
  • The interested third parties may file opposition actions against a trademark application within two (02) months following its publication date in the Official Gazette.
  • Registered trademarks may be subject to cancellation actions put forward by third parties if they aren't in use for five (05) consecutive years.
  • The registered trademarks have a validity of ten (10) years from the date of registration in Malawi, which can be further renewed indefinitely for periods of ten (10) years.
  • Trademarks must be renewed six (06) months before the renewal date.

PATENT

  • Malawi is a member of the Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and ARIPO.
  • Process Patent and Product Patent are the two types of patents that can be protected in Malawi. 
  • In Malawi, any invention that satisfies the conditions of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability or new usability, subjects to patentability.
  • The types of patent applications in Malawi include Non-Convention Application, Convention Application, PCT National Phase Application, Divisional Application, and Patent of Addition.
  • 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. At the post-grant stage, an opposition can be raised within three (03) months from the date of publication of the patent grant.
  • The patent of invention lasts for sixteen (16) years in Malawi, which may be extended on a case basis.
  • The time frame for payment of Annuities before the due date is three (03) months. 

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

  • Malawi is a member of the Paris Convention, ARIPO.
  • The Registered Designs Chapter 49:05 deals with the mechanism of registration of industrial designs.
  • The types of industrial design applications in Malawi include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application. 
  • Utility model protection isn't provided under industrial design protection in Malawi. 
  • Opposition against an industrial design application can't be raised in Malawi. 
  • 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 three (03) months to renew an industrial design in Malawi. 

COPYRIGHT

  • Malawi is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. 
  • The Copyright Act, 2016 deals with the mechanism of copyright protection in Malawi. 
  • In Malawi, 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.