Madrid Protocol now in force in Gambia
The Madrid Protocol entered into force in the Republic of the Gambia (Gambia) on 18 December 2015.
This makes Gambia the 21st African country or regional organisation to join the Madrid Protocol. Unlike several African member countries, Gambia has passed legislation which gives effect to its obligations in terms of the Madrid Protocol. International registrations that designate Gambia should therefore be enforceable.
Trade mark owners should be aware, though, that the Gambian Registry’s examination of applications is unlikely to be rigorous and that advertisement, for opposition purposes, will probably take longer than 18 months to occur after filing. This will mean that international registrations, which have not been the subject of proper scrutiny, could become valid by default.
Although avoiding proper examination and opposition may be seen as something of a bonus for the company that applies for international registration, it could, in fact, be problematic. That is because a third party threatened or in some way aggrieved by the international registration, might apply for its cancellation on the basis that it was wrongly registered.
Follow this link for further information on Madrid in Africa.