The registry is responsible for the administration of Industrial Property rights in The Gambia.

Its functions include:

  • Administration of Intellectual Property Rights;
  • Provision of Technological Information to the Public;
  • Promotion of Inventiveness and Awareness in The Gambia; and
  • Provision of Training in Industrial Property.

 

WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Intellectual Property refers to the creations of the mind for example inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names and images used in commerce etc.

Intellectual property is divided into two categories:

  • Industrial Property
  • Copyright and related rights

 

WHAT ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Intellectual property rights are like any other property right. They allow creators or owners of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works, to benefit from their own work or investment in the creation.

The Industrial Property Office registers the following Industrial Property Rights:

  1. Patent
  2. Trademark
  3. Utility Model
  4. Collective Marks
  5. Industrial Designs

The procedure for registration is that the appropriate form must be completed and the required fees paid. The Industrial Property applicable laws are as follows:

The Gambia is a member state of African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Existing Acts and Regulations include;

  • Industrial Property Act 2007
  • Industrial Property (Amendment Act) 2015
  • Industrial Property Regulations 2010
  • Industrial Property Regulations 2011
  • The Gambia Intellectual Policy and Strategy 2018- 2023 is finalized by stakeholders and now awaiting Cabinet approval

WHAT IS PATENT?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. A patent provides patent owners with protection for their inventions in a product or process that provides a new way of doing something, or that offers a new technical solution to a problem. Protection is granted for a period 20 years in The Gambia

PROCEDURES FOR PATENT REGISTRATION IN THE GAMBIA

The following are the procedures for Patent registration:

  1. The application for a Patent shall be filed with the Register General and shall contain a request, a description, one or more claims, one or more drawings, and an abstract and shall be accompanied by the payment of the prescribed fee. (FORM P1)
  2. The request shall contain a petition to the effect that a patent be granted, the name of and other prescribed data concerning the applicant, the inventor and the agent, if any, and the title of the invention
  3. Where the applicant is not the inventor, the request shall be accompanied by a statement justifying the applicant’s right to the patent.
  4. The description shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete.
  5. The claim shall determine the scope of the protection which shall be clear and concise and shall be fully supported by the description.
  6. The Registrar General shall examine the application and shall grant same if it fulfils all the requirements under Gambian law.

Note:Patent, Utility Model and Industrial Design protection in The Gambia may be obtained through the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO). Patent protection in The Gambia may be obtained through the Patent Cooperation Treaty of The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

WHAT IS TRADEMARK?

A trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies certain goods or services produced or provided by an individual or a company.

PROCEDURES FOR TRADE MARK REGISTRATION IN THE GAMBIA

The following are the procedures for trade mark registration:

  1. The application for registration of a mark shall be filed with the Registrar General using Form M1 and shall contain a request, a reproduction of the mark, and a list of goods or services for which registration of the mark is requested, listed under the applicable class or classes of the International Classification, and shall be accompanied by the payment of the prescribed fee.The application may contain a declaration claiming the priority of an earlier national or regional application filed by the applicant.
  2. The Registrar General shall examine whether the application complies with the requirements of the Act.
  3. Where the Registrar General finds that the conditions are fulfilled, he shall cause the application, as accepted, to be published in the prescribed manner.
  4. A person may, within three months or further time not exceeding nine months of the advertisement of the application give notice or opposition of the mark on the grounds that one of the conditions are not fulfilled.
  5. After the three months opposition period, the Registrar General will issue the Registration Certificate to the applicant.

Trade Mark registration in The Gambia may be obtained through the Madrid Protocol of The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

WHAT IS AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?

An industrial design refers to the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of an article. A design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of industrial products and handicrafts: from technical medical instruments to watches, jewelry and other luxury items; from house wares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures; from textile designs to leisure goods.

To be protected in The Gambia the industrial design must be new or original and non-functional. This means that an industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic nature, and any technical features of the article to which it is applied are not protected by the design registration.

PROCEDURES FOR INDUSTRIAL DESIGN REGISTRATION IN THE GAMBIA

The following are the procedures for Industrial Design registration

  1. The application using Form D1 for registration of an industrial design shall be filed with the Registrar General and shall contain a request, drawings, photographs or other adequate graphic representations of the article embodying the industrial design and an indication of the kind of products for which the industrial design is to be used.
  2. The application may be accompanied by a specimen of the article embodying the industrial design and shall be accompanied by the payment of the prescribed application fee.

WHAT ARE COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS?

Copyright laws grant authors, artists and other creators protection for their literary and artistic creations, generally referred to as “work”. A closely associated field is “related rights” or rights related to copyright that encompass rights similar or identical to those of copyright, although sometimes more limited and of shorter duration. The beneficiaries of related rights are:

  • Performers (such as actors and musicians) in their performances;
  • Producers of phonograms (for example, compact discs) in their sound recordings; and
  • Broadcasting organisations in their radio and television programs.

Works covered by copyright include, but are not limited to: novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers, advertisements, computer programs, databases, films, musical compositions, choreography, paintings drawings photographs, sculpture, architecture, maps and technical drawings.

In The Gambia, Copyright and Related Rights are under the auspices of National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC).

WHAT ARE UTILITY MODELS?

Utility Models otherwise known as petit patents can be registered in The Gambia. If an innovation is new and industrially applicable in The Gambia, the innovation can be registered as a Utility Model.

PROCEDURES FOR UTILITY MODELS N IN THE GAMBIA

The Applicant should use the Form P1 and pay the prescribed fees.

WHAT ARE COLLECTIVE MARKS?

Collective marks are marks used by two or more enterprises that have agreed to use the mark in common. The purpose is to identify and distinguish the products and services of the group from the products and services of any other enterprise.

PROCEDURES FOR COLLECTIVE MARKS IN THE GAMBIA

The procedures for registration of collective marks are the same for registration of trade marks in The Gambia. The Applicant should use the Form M1 and pay the prescribed fees.