Published Date: September 14, 2022

In order to curb misuse of pharmaceutical trade mark registrations, the Angolan trade marks office (IAPI) has issued notice 9/2022 which states that, going forward, all registration certificates for pharmaceutical trade marks in class 5 shall now contain the following disclaimer:

“This title grants the right of ownership and exclusive use of the trademark throughout the national territory, excluding the certification of the pharmaceutical product (registration and authorization for the introduction of the drug in the Angolan market), which is the attribution of the Department of the competent Ministry”

The requirement took effect for 29 July 2022.

The IAPI is taking this preventive measure in order to clarify that trade mark registration does not necessarily mean that a proprietor has obtained the necessary authority to launch a particular pharmaceutical product in Angola.

The IAPI does not have authority to approve medicines for commercialisation in Angola as this right is conferred by the National Directorate of Medicines and Equipment (NDME). The NDME’s authorisation of pharmaceutical products provides for both the grant of the product name and a license for the marketing and distribution of the product in Angola.

A trade mark registration, on the other hand, entitles a proprietor to exclusive use of the trade mark, and to prevent others from using an identical or confusingly similar mark in the trade. While the two processes are mutually exclusive, it is imperative that pharmaceutical brand owners follow both, in order to be able to commercialise and protect their products in this territory.

Source: Circular 9-2022