Under the old Rwandan law, national trade marks were registered indefinitely. However, some time ago this position changed. Trade mark registrations are now only valid for 10 years from their filing date, after which they need to be renewed. This has impacted old registrations which are no longer registered indefinitely. Any trade marks filed before 14 December 2009 are now due for renewal by 14 December 2019, which is 10 years from the entering into force of the new law.
The law provides for a grace period of ten months for late renewals but we are recommending all clients who filed before 14 December 2009 to review their portfolio in Rwanda now and attend to any renewals before 14 December 2019, so as to avoid losing their registrations or paying late renewal fees.