The Republic of South Sudan was established on 9 July 2011, following a referendum approving independence from Sudan. Existing Sudanese trade mark registrations ceased to have effect in the new jurisdiction on that date.

 

Despite the lack of a trade mark law, the Ministry of Justice in South Sudan began accepting trade mark applications in July 2014 under the provisions of the old Sudanese Trade Marks Act.  However, after a year or so, the Deputy Registrar at the Ministry reversed its policy and refused to accept any new applications, due to the lack of a trade mark law.

 

The Ministry has issued written confirmation that all trade marks filed to date have been suspended until such time as the relevant Intellectual Property laws are enacted.  However, it is now possible to reserve trade marks with the Ministry, pending the passing of a trade mark law.  We understand that, whilst applications to reserve trade marks will not be processed until a law is enacted, reserving a trade mark will have the effect of giving the trade mark priority over others filed when a law finally enters into force.  It is believed that trade marks reserved at the Ministry will be processed as trade mark applications as soon as a trade mark law enters into force.  However, whether any further action or additional fees will be required when the law is enacted is unknown at present.

 

If you are interested in reserving a trade mark in South Sudan, please contact us for further information.