A trademark applicant is not required to conduct a trademark search for conflicting marks before using a trademark, or applying to register a trademark in Tanzania Mainland & Zanzibar.

However, the most important reason to do a trademark search are:

  1.  to avoid liability from trademark infringement lawsuits.
  2.  to identify potential prior users, so you will not have to incur the time and expense associated with changing a name you have invested time and money in at a later date.
  3. when you are registering the mark with the registry and the trademark you have attempted to register is the same, or “confusingly similar” to another company’s registered trademark for identical or similar goods and/or services, the application will be denied and the registration fees together with the attorney’s fee paid for registration of the mark are non-refundable. 

Before submitting an application for registering your trademark, you should ensure that a proper trademark search has been carried out. This is to make sure that the trademark you intend to use, or a similar one, is not already registered by another company for identical or similar products. It is advisable to conduct a trademark search not only in your own country but also, as far as is possible, in potential export countries, in order to avoid problems of infringement. 

A trademark search may be conducted before Trademark Registry, BRELA for Tanzania Mainland and BPRA for Zanzibar, or you may hire the services of a trademark lawyer. Whatever the manner you choose. Please bear in mind that any such trademark search is only preliminary.

It may be difficult to ensure that your trademark of choice is not ‘confusingly similar’ to existing validly registered trademarks. This is why the guidance of an experienced trademark attorney and/or agent, who is familiar with the practice of the trademark office and court decisions, may be extremely helpful. 

At Abbay Attorneys we have extensive experience in assist our clients to through the whole process of Trademark registration, that is trademark search, filling & prosecution of application for trademark registration, filling opposition or counter-statement regarding a trademark application, securing registration certificate. We also assist with post-registration activities such as renewal, assignment, licensing and more. You may give us a call via +255(0)764490457 or email us info@abbayattorneys.co.tz