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New BIPA campaign advocates for trademark protection

2021-11-12  Staff Reporter

New BIPA campaign advocates for trademark protection
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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 trademarks and protecting their brands. A trademark is a sign or mark capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from that of another. The campaign officially kicked off on 09 November 2021 and will end on 20 December 2021.

BIPA currently has 75 573 trademarks registered in its intellectual property register. The register currently grows at an average annual rate of 0.19% of total trademarks registered. This, according to Ainna Kaundu, Executive: Intellectual Property Services at BIPA, is relatively low and therefore BIPA aims with this campaign to improve the rate of registration and resultantly the level of trademark protection in Namibia. 

Trademark protection in Namibia is valid for a period of 10 years from date of registration. 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. 

The objectives of the campaign are centred on creating awareness and promoting the benefits of trademark protection as well as educating the target market about the process of registering a trademark. 

“Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection remains an integral part of the Authority’s mandate and we remain committed to deliver on the same. It requires more than just protection - we must also educate, inform, and change attitudes of our society towards intellectual assets,” said Kaundu. 

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, Switzerland, respectively. Through the regional or international filing routes, an applicant submits a single application while seeking protection in various countries. 

BIPA also announced a competition for all Namibian product brands to enter where they 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 trademarks 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,” noted Ockert Jansen, Executive: Marketing, Corporate Communications and Client Management Services. 

2021-11-12  Staff Reporter

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