The United Republic of Tanzania Patent Act came into force several years ago and introduced a world-wide novelty requirement, simultaneously repealing Patent Ordinance Cap. 217 which had provided for applications to register granted UK patents in Tanganyika. However, the Patent Office continued to accept such applications for registration despite repeal of the enabling law. We continued to file applications of this type for our clients, but persistently maintained that we had reservations about the validity of patents granted on such applications.

Recently, we have finally had a rejection of an application for registration of a UK patent before the Tanzanian Patent Office. The Registrar has indicated that any application for a patent in Tanzania must be made under the new legislation and not otherwise.

Please note that the United Republic of Tanzania Patents Act has not yet been ratified by Zanzibar and accordingly does not extend to the island. Therefore, it remains possible to file applications for registration of granted UK patents in Zanzibar.