Rwanda: Changes to IP practice

Changes have been made as regards IP practice in Rwanda.

This is as a result of Ministerial Orders dated 17 March 2016 (although published in a Gazette that was dated 20 April 2016, but only made available on 10 May 2016).

Please note that Rwandan law was also changed to allow for the registration of Plant Breeders’ Rights; however, this is not covered here.

The practice changes have been implemented with immediate effect, and include the following:

Notarisation: All powers of attorney now need to be notarised – in the past a simple signature was sufficient. The powers of attorney (in English, French or Rwandan) must also follow a newly prescribed format. An approved specimen is available on request.

Opposition terms: The term for filing an opposition to an application for a trade mark or a geographical indication has been increased from 30 days to 60 days, and the term within which the applicant for registration must respond is 14 days. The opposition document must contain specific information, including the grounds of opposition and the evidence. A power of attorney must also be submitted.

Fees: A number of official fees have been changed, and we have amended our tariffs. As regards trade marks, the following official fees have been reduced:

  • Trade mark filing (although class fees have been introduced);
  • Change of name recordal;
  • Change of address recordal;
  • Merger recordal;
  • Renewals

For further information, please contact us at

Date published: 2016/06/15
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: trade mark rwanda