Further to our previous articles on this website regarding the new intellectual property law in Rwanda, we write by way of an update to confirm that the new law (Law No. 31/2009 on the Protection of Intellectual Property dated 26 October 2009) is in full effect in Rwanda following its publication on 14 December 2009, and moreover, the official fees have finally now been promulgated by way of Ministerial Order No. 006/2010.

As previously reported, the provisions of particular significance in the new law are as follows:

Patents 
- The new law introduces a requirement of absolute novelty. It is therefore no longer possible to file applications for patents of importation under the new law. 
- Patent annuities are payable in respect of patent applications filed since the coming into force of the law, on the anniversary of the filing date. Annuities are also payable in respect of existing applications/registrations. We are currently liaising with Registry officials in Rwanda in order to clarify precisely which fees are payable on patent cases, and we will report any news in this regard in a future article on this website.

Trade Marks
- Trade marks filed and registered since the coming into force of the new law are valid for a period of ten years from the date of filing, and may be renewed for successive periods of ten years. In respect of trade marks registered under the old law, renewal fees must be paid within 10 years of the date of entry into force of the new law.

Further details will be posted on this website as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, if you have any questions on any of the above matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.