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Trademark registration in Cameroon

The country of Cameroon is located in Central Africa, bordering the Bay of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. This location is an important gateway to Central and West Africa, with easy access to a vast market of more than 500 million people. This location also helps connect with international sea and land routes, facilitating trade and transportation. Natural resources in Cameroon are abundant including oil, gas, minerals (bauxite, iron), timber, hydroelectric resources that form the basis for extractive, processing and export industries. Therefore, Cameroon is one of the countries that attracts foreign investment, thereby generating a large source of income for the country. To be able to protect themselves in a market full of competition, businesses need to consider trademark registration procedures when investing in Cameroon. Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily on the procedures for trademark registration in Cameroon.

Trademark Protection

Legal basis

  • Civil Law No. 2016/007 dated July 12, 2016;
  • Other relevant legal documents.

Definition of “trademark” in Cameroon

A trademark is defined in Law No. 2016/007 dated 12 July 2016 on Industrial Property in Cameroon as follows:

“Any sign that can distinguish the goods or services of one business from those of others.”

This sign may include:

  • Expression
  • Image
  • Symbol
  • Design
  • Sound
  • Hologram
  • Any combination of the above factors

Trademarks may be used to:

  • Distinguish one business’s goods or services from others: Registered trademarks are legally protected, helping owners prevent unauthorized use by others. Unauthorized use of trademarks may result in sanctions such as compensation for damages, recall of infringing goods, etc.
  • Build brand reputation and value: Trademarks help differentiate your products/services from competitors, build brand image and recognition. Strong brands help attract potential customers and increase customer loyalty.
  • Protection against unfair competition: Strong brands help businesses create a competitive advantage over competitors, attract customers and increase revenue. Brands help businesses affirm their position in the market and build credibility with customers.
  • Encourage innovation and creativity.
  • Increase commercial value: A trademark can be viewed as a valuable intangible asset, contributing to an increase in business value. Trademarks may be assigned, franchised or permitted for use through contract.

To be registered in Cameroon, a trademark must meet the following requirements:

  • Ability to distinguish
  • Do not infringe the intellectual property rights of others
  • Not contrary to public morals or public order

Trademark registration dossier in Cameroon

To register a trademark in Cameroon, you need to prepare the following dossier and submit it to the Agency for Technological Development and Industrial Property of the Ministry of Geology, Industry and Technology Development (MINMIDT):

Application Form

Download the official “Trademark Application” form from the MINMIDT website.

Complete the application form, including: Information about the applicant (name, address, nationality); Trademark information (name, description, image, classification of goods/services); Power of attorney (if any)

Trademark image

Provide 10 clear images of the trademark, meeting MINMIDT’s size and format requirements.

A valid copy of the Business Registration Certificate or Personal Legal Document

A valid copy of the Power of Attorney (if any)

Authorize the representative to file a trademark application.

Receipt of payment of application fee

Additional documents (if any)

  • Proof of precedence document (if applicable): Proof of priority based on a trademark application filed in another country.
  • Proof of trademark use in Cameroon (if applicable): Proof of trademark use in Cameroon (invoice, packaging, marketing materials).

Trademark registration fees in Cameroon

The trademark registration fee in Cameroon includes:

Application fee: 10,000 CFA francs per classification of goods/services.

Appraisal fee: 25,000 CFA francs per classification of goods/services.

Publication fee: 10,000 CFA francs per classification of goods/services.

Registration Certificate Fee: 10,000 CFA francs.

How to file a trademark application in Cameroon

To file for trademark protection in Cameroon, customers can apply by the following filing methods:

  • Direct submission: You can go directly to the Department of Technology Development and Industrial Property of the Ministry of Geology, Industry and Technology Development (MINMIDT) at Boîte postale 1604 Yaoundé to submit your application and related documents.
  • By Post or Email, Fax: You can send your application and all required documents via postal service or courier service to the address of  the Agency for Technological Development and Industrial Property of the Ministry of Geology, Industry and Technology Development (MINMIDT) at Boîte postale 1604 Yaoundé.
  • Submit online via website: https://cameroon-industries.cm/ When applying online, you should pay attention to the payment of the relevant fee according to the guidelines of  the Agency for Technology Development and Industrial Property, the Ministry of Geology, Industry and Technology Development of Cameroon.

Process of processing trademark registration documents in Cameroon

After submitting the trademark registration dossier, the application processing process takes about 10 months.

Appraisal of documents

MINMIDT will conduct dossier appraisal within 3 months from the date of receipt of valid dossiers. Appraisal contents include:

  • Check the validity of your profile
  • Trademark distinguishability test
  • Check if a trademark infringes someone else’s intellectual property rights

Publication of application

If the application is valid, MINMIDT will publish the trademark application in the Official Gazette within 2 months. Anyone has the right to object to the application within 3 months from the date of publication.

Resolve objections

If there is an objection, MINMIDT will organize a dialogue between the applicant and the objector. After considering the opinions of both parties, MINMIDT will make the final decision on whether to register or refuse to register a trademark.

Issuance of Registration Certificate

If the application is accepted, MINMIDT will issue a Trademark Registration Certificate to the applicant. The trademark registration certificate is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years.

Trademark registration service in Cameroon of Viet An Law Firm

  • Perform the search and notify customers in writing the results of trademark search in Cameroon;
  • Drafting dossiers and directly submitting and monitoring the status of trademark application filings in Cameroon on behalf of trademark owners;
  • Inform, advise and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring trademark applications in Cameroon;
  • Support monitoring, representing the resolution of objections and feedback with intellectual property representatives to carry out procedures in Cameroon.
  • Receive dispatches, certificates and hand over to customers (if any).

If you need to apply for trademark registration in Cameroon, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the most effective support.

Disclaimer: This article was last updated in April 2024. Laws may have changed since then. Please contact Viet An Law to confirm the information in this article is current and for any legal assistance.

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