Trademark Registration in Tanzania and Zanzibar, is conducted separately between the two States, as each has its own separate Law providing for what can be protected, the procedure to be followed during registration and Trademark registration validity period. Also, they have separate trademark offices, where the trademarks are filed and registered, being the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) and Business and Property Registration Authority (BPRA). for Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar, respectively.

The Trademark Laws governing the Trademark registration in Tanzania is The Trade and Service Marks Act, 1986 and in Zanzibar, is The Zanzibar Industrial Property Act, No. 4 of 2008.

Trademark Registration in Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar – Procedure and Requirements

Despite having separate governing Laws, the Procedure for Trademark registration and protection in both states are more less similar and for the applicant to secure registration of his trademark, has to go through the following process;

Trademark search is not mandatory in both Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar, however, it is recommended, for avoidance of refusal by the Trademark office and potential opposition from the third parties, in case of similar or confusingly similar registered trademark.

Once the trademark search confirm that the trademark is available for registration then the next step will be to file the application for trademark registration, with the relevant trademark office, in Tanzania or Zanzibar.

To file the Trademark application in Tanzania or Zanzibar, the following information and documents are required;

  1. Name, address and nationality of the Applicant;
  2. One print of the proposed trademark (except for word marks in ordinary type);
  3. List of goods and services;
  4. List of Classes;
  5. Priority application number, country and date, if the applicant is claiming priority,
  6. Power of Attorney (only a scanned copy of signed POA, no notarization or legalization is required)

Upon filing the application, the Trademark office of Tanzania or Zanzibar, will examine the application to see if it has met the formality requirements. If the application has not met the formalities then the office will require submission of the missing information or document. In case all the formal requirements are met, then the application will be allocated the application number (which will also be registration number, upon registration).

After, application number allocation, the application will then be examined substantively, to ensure it is not similar to the registered trademarks, descriptive, well-known mark and not against public molarity among other standards required by the Law.

Where, it happens that the Trademark filed is similar to the registered trademark or has not met the standards mentioned above, then, the trademark office will refuse the registration and request the applicant through his agent to either amend the application or to lodge an appeal, if the applicant think its trademark application should be granted. The appeal lies with the Registrar on the first instance and to the High Court of Tanzania or Zanzibar, if the applicant is not satisfied with Registrar’s decision.

Where the Trademark application has met the substantive requirements, or has been amended or the appeal was successful, the Trademark office shall proceed to accept the Trademark application and issue the acceptance Letter, to underline its willingness to register the trademark, pending third parties’ opposition, if any.

Thereafter, the trademark office will publish the trademark application in a monthly IP Journal, after the applicant or his agent remit the required publication fees.

The Trademark will be published for a period of 2 months, (60 Days), inviting the public or third party to file with the registrar opposition against the Trademark registration. The opposition has to be filed within the publication period or before publication due date, unless the opposing part secure the extension of time from the Registrar to file the opposition beyond the publication due date.

If no opposition has been receive within the above indicated timeline, or the opposition has been received, and decided in favor of the applicant, then the registrar will proceed to issue the registration certificate, upon application and payment of required fee by the applicant.

Trademark registration process has to be completed within 12 months form the date of filing, unless there is objection, opposition or any other event not in control of the applicant. Where the registration is not completed within 12 months, and it is a default of the applicant then the trademark may be regarded as abandoned, consequently it will not be protected, and can be removed from the Registry.

Upon registration and issuance of the Certificate, the trademark will be protected and the applicant will acquire exclusive right to use the trademark, for an initial period of 7 years, and 10 years, for Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar, respectively.

Trademark Registration Certificate in Tanzania (Tanganyika) is issued in softcopy and have the same effect as the original, while in Zanzibar, it is issued in hard copy or on paper.

Post-Registration Requirements

The proprietor of trademark registered in either Tanzania(Tanganyika) or Zanzibar, has to comply with the post-registration requirements such as;

As explained above, trademark registration and protection is provided for a limited period of time, hence, upon expiry of the protection term the proprietor has to renew the registration at least 3 months before expiry date, and at last 6 months after expiry, otherwise the trademark will be regarded as abandoned and may be removed from the registry after 12 months from the expiry date.

Therefore, once the trademark registration is renewed and upon every renewal, the trademark will be protected for a period of 10 years, and 7 years, for Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar, Respectively.

The Proprietor of the registered Trademark, has to notify the registry, on every changes related to the registered trademark such as;


In this article we intend only to provide general overview of the trademark registration procedure and requirements in Tanzania and Zanzibar, it should not be regarded as the legal opinion, or legal advise and should only be used for the purpose intended herein. In case you require legal opinion or advise to register and protect your trademark in Tanzania, you may contact us or send us you inquiry to our email.

Alternatively, you may request an estimate or quote to register you Trademark by filling in the Estimate Request Form