With effect from 24 September 2011, Rwanda will become a member of ARIPO. Rwanda deposited its Instrument of Accession to ARIPO on the 24th of June 2011 for the Harare Protocol. Rwanda becomes the 17th member state party to the Harare Protocol (patents, industrial designs and utility models).

It will therefore be possible to designate Rwanda in an ARIPO application filed on or after 24 September 2011.

As mentioned in our newsflash of 17 June 2011, the Republic of Rwanda became the 144th PCT Contracting State on 31 May 2011. The PCT will enter into force for Rwanda on 31 August 2011 and Rwanda may be designated in PCT International applications as from this date. Furthermore, the Republic of Rwanda also deposited its Instrument of Accession to The Hague Agreement on 31 May 2011. The Hague Agreement will take effect in Rwanda from 31 August 2011. The Hague Agreement relates to the International Registration of Industrial Designs. It is also known as the Hague system whereby one can register an industrial design in many countries by means of a single design application.

The Rwanda Law on the protection of intellectual property does not refer specifically to PCT, the Hague or ARIPO but has the general stipulation that:

The provisions of any international IP treaty to which the Republic of Rwanda is party shall apply, and in case of conflict with the provisions of the Law, the provisions of the international treaty shall prevail over the latter.

Click here for Rwanda patent filing requirements

Click here for ARIPO filing requirements for patents.

Click here to read more on Intellectual Property Law Developments in Rwanda.

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