It has come to our attention that the Regulations for the implementation of the Industrial Property Act 2010 in Botswana have finally been promulgated, and we understand that this Act is now fully in force as of 1 September 2012.

Inter alia, the Industrial Property Act 2010 contains the following provisions:

- The new law provides for the protection of collective marks and trade names and for the recognition of well-known trade marks. 
- Lapsed marks can now be reinstated if compelling reasons are given, e.g. if it can be shown that the lapse was due to a lack of knowledge of the trade mark law, or was caused by unforeseen circumstances, despite due care being taken. A penalty fee must be paid for such reinstatement of rights. 
- International registration under the Madrid Protocol is possible. In this regard, please note that Botswana acceded to the Madrid Protocol in December 2006, but previously, the Law and Regulations in force locally did not allow for such marks to be recognised.
- Geographical indications may be protected under the new law.
- Third party observations may be filed in respect of published patent applications by any interested party.
- Applications for the registration of utility models may now be filed. 
- Industrial designs can no longer be registered if they consist solely of features dictated by functional or technical considerations. Conversely, the previous law referred only to the appearance of a product, and not its function. 
- Protection may now be obtained for layout designs of integrated circuits.
- The Industrial Property Act introduces new provisions on the protection of traditional knowledge and handicrafts.

Please also note that the official fees applicable in Botswana have been increased by 50%, in conjunction with the promulgation of the new Regulations.

For any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.