Portugal: New IP Code in Mozambique
Among Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, one of the recent events regarding IP which deserves to be highlighted is the approval, in Mozambique, of the new Industrial Property Code (IPC) by Decree number 47/2015, published in the Boletim da República (Official Gazette) of December 31 2015, which comes into effect 90 days after its publication.
This new Code improves the drafting of some of its articles in an attempt to overcome doubts regarding the interpretation thereof, amends several deadlines aiming at a swift processing of the cases submitted to the Industrial Property Institute (IPI) and provides as well additional instruments for impugnation of a decision issued by the IPI.
The new drafting of number 3 of the IPC's article 162 clarifies that with respect to the deadline for the submissions of the Declaration of Intent to Use (DIU) for international trade mark registrations, the date to take into account will be the filing date of the mentioned application at WIPO's International Bureau.
With regard to patents, the main amendments introduced in the new Code bring the Mozambican legislation closer to the practices required for long in most of the countries/organisations and they do not constitute a novelty for the applicants of patent applications.
The major alteration in this IPC as far as patents are concerned is the substantive examination. Contrary to what happened before, the patent applicant will have to request that examination and pay the respective fees within 36 months after the filing date in Mozambique, while previously it was sufficient to comply with the formal requirements for the application to be published and granted.
Additionally, in the scope of this new IPC it was bestowed to the Inspecção Nacional das Actividades Económicas [National Inspection of Economic Activities] the responsibility to investigate the violations typified in Article 212 of the new IPC.
Lastly, this new Code stipulates that the Official Bulletin will be published monthly and that any gap in this new IPC will be regulated by the civil and criminal rules which do not contradict the industrial property principles.
Therefore, it is with great expectation that we wait to see how this new legislation will be enforced and if the changes introduced in it will result in benefits to all the economic agents.