For more information on ARIPO Trade Mark Registrations click here

1.     The requirements for applications filed directly in Rwanda are as follows: 

  1. Full name, street address and description of the applicant (including trading style, if any, and state/ country of incorporation, if incorporated).
  2. List of goods and/ or services.
  3. A simply signed power of attorney - we notarise on our side.
  4. Clear print of device mark.
  5. If convention priority is claimed: a certified copy of the basic application, together with a verified French translation thereof.

2.   Classification

  1. The 42 classes of the International Classification of goods and services are followed.
  2. Multi-class - Yes.

3.   General

  1. Duration: 10 years from date of application and renewable for further periods of 10 years. See below for further information***
  2. Use: Not compulsory.
  3. Marking: Not required, but advisable.
  4. Assignments of applications are permitted.
  5. Searches available within approximately 5 - 10 working days from instruction and are conducted on an online official register.

*** Prior to 2009, there was no provision for renewal of trade marks in Rwanda. But after their Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property came into effect on 26/10/2009, trade marks are to be renewed every 10 years (Article 153).

With respect to the trade marks that had been registered in Rwanda before the law coming into effect in 26/10/2009, these may be renewed at any period before the expiry of 10 years from the date the law took effect, that is on or before 26th October, 2019. Should the proprietors choose to renew their marks earlier (say in 2013), the next renewal date will be in 10 years (that is 2023).


In our experience, it is better to file an ARIPO regional application designating at least Rwanda rather than a national application directly in Rwanda. The main reason for our opinion is that ARIPO is run by WIPO and, accordingly, operates much more efficiently than the Rwandan Patent and Design Offices. Furthermore, the cost of filing an ARIPO application designating only Rwanda is about the same as the cost of filing a national application directly in Rwanda. A further benefit of the ARIPO route is that it is possible to designate other ARIPO member countries by paying additional designation fees at a relatively nominal surcharge.

For more information on ARIPO Patent Registrations click here.

For more information on ARIPO Design Registrations click here.

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