BIPA launches trademark protection campaign
The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA), in line with its mandate to protect entrepreneurship and innovation, has embarked on a campaign aimed at educating the public about the importance of registering their trademark and protecting their brand.
With its first phase aimed at the creative industry, BIPA will make use of social influencers in various fields of the creative industry to assist the Authority in getting the message across.
Anna Kaundu, BIPAs Intellectual Property Services Executive said they currently have 75 573 trademarks registered in its intellectual property register, which grows at an average annual rate of 0.19% of total trademarks registered.
She said this is relatively low and therefore they aim to improve the rate of registration and resultantly the level of trademark protection in Namibia.
“Intellectual property rights protection remains an integral part of the Authority’s mandate and we remain committed to delivering on the same. It requires more than just protection, we must also educate, inform, and change attitudes of our society towards intellectual assets,” Kaundu said.
BIPA also assist applicants in the filing through regional and international routes administered by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) in Harare, Zimbabwe and World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, respectively. Through the regional or international filing routes, an applicant submits a single application while seeking protection in various countries.
Additionally, there will be a competition for all Namibian product brands to enter where they will stand a chance to win a free trademark registration with BIPA that will be valid for ten years, subject to renewal.
“All creatives who register their trademark will be conferred the exclusive right to the use of such a trademark and as such retain the goodwill amongst the clients, which will make their brand attractive and reputable; and above all enhance their intellectual assets portfolio. The protection will further deter counterfeiters from using protected trademarks which cause confusion in the marketplace,” said Ockert Jansen, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Client Management Services at BIPA.
Trademark protection in Namibia is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of registration. The campaign officially kicked off on 09 November and will end on 20 December 2021.