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Trademark registration in Timor-Leste

In the context of an increasingly globalized world, the protection of intellectual property rights becomes extremely important, especially as businesses scale and operate in international markets. Timor-Leste, strategically located between important trade routes in Southeast Asia, is not only an ideal destination for businesses looking to expand their business network, but also a potential and diversified market. Therefore, trademark registration procedures in Timor-Leste have become an integral part of the company’s trademark protection strategy. Viet An Law will guide you through the preliminary procedures for trademark registration in Timor-Leste.

Intellectual Property Timor-Leste

Legal basis

  • Taxes and Fees Act (No. 8/2008, June 30, 2008);
  • Act No. 2/2007 on National Symbols.

General situation of trademark registration in Timor-Leste

Conditions for trademark registration in Timor-Leste

Although Timor-Leste does not currently have an official trademark registration system like many other countries. Several reasons why Timor-Leste does not yet have an official trademark registration system.

  • First, Timor-Leste is a developing country. The country’s legal system and infrastructure are still under construction.
  • Second, Timor-Leste is a small country. The population is only about 1.3 million. This can make setting up and maintaining a formal trademark registration system costly and inefficient.
  • Third, Timor-Leste is a newly formed country. The country gained independence from Indonesia in 2002. The Timor-Lesteese government is still focusing on other important issues, such as economic development and improving security.

However, efforts are being made to establish an official trademark registration system in Timor-Leste. The Timor-Lesteese government has established an Intellectual Property Committee to study and propose intellectual property regulations. The commission has proposed a bill on intellectual property, including the establishment of a trademark registration system. The bill is currently being considered by the Parliament of Timor-Leste.

If the bill passes, Timor-Leste will have an official trademark registration system. This will bring many benefits to businesses and individuals in Timor-Leste, including:

  • Provide a clear mechanism for trademark registration and protection.
  • Strengthen the recognition and protection of trademarks in Timor-Leste.
  • Create a fairer business environment for businesses.

Alternative safeguards

Despite the absence of official registration, you can still take steps to protect your trademark in Timor-Leste:

  • Publication in a local newspaper: One measure is to publish a “warning notice” in a local newspaper. This serves as a public statement of the ownership and use of the business’s trademark. Another measure is to maintain a strong brand presence through consistent use and marketing. This can help establish consumer awareness of your business’s brand. Finally, businesses can collect and retain evidence of the use of their trademarks, such as packaging, invoices, and marketing materials. This evidence can be useful in the event of any dispute over the trademark ownership of the business.
  • Maintain a strong brand presence: Building a strong brand presence of a business through consistent use and marketing can help establish consumer awareness and recognition of your ownership.
    • Identify your target market: It’s important to understand the needs and wants of your target market before you start building your brand. When you understand your audience, you can create the right marketing messaging and content.
    • Leverage traditional communication channels: Although Timor-Leste is increasingly using social media, traditional media channels such as television, radio and newspapers remain important. Use these channels to reach your business’s target audience.
    • Build relationships with local partners: Partner with local businesses and organizations to increase their brand awareness. This can help the business reach its target audience and build local credibility.
    • Partner with celebrities and influencers: Celebrities and influencers can help businesses reach a wider audience. Look for people whose voices align with your brand and can help you get your message across to their audience.
    • Actively participate in the community: Participate in community events and organize socially meaningful activities to raise brand awareness of your business and build trust with locals.
  • Proof of Use: Collect and maintain documentation and evidence of the use of trademarks by businesses in Timor-Leste, such as:
    • Packaging: The packaging of your product or service is a great way to show off your brand. Make sure your packaging has your branding that is clear and easy on the eyes.
    • Invoices: Invoices are another way to express your business’s brand. Make sure that your business invoice has your business’s trademark and business contact information.
    • Marketing materials: Your marketing materials, such as business cards, flyers, and brochures, are a great way to promote your brand. Make sure your marketing materials have your branding that is clear and easy on the eyes.
    • Website: A business’s website is a great way to showcase your business’s brand and provide information about its products or services. Make sure your website has a clear and visible branding of your business.
    • Social media: Social media is a great way to connect with customers and build community. Make sure your social media accounts have your branding that is clear and easy on the eyes.


While waiting for the official trademark registration system to be established, businesses and individuals in Timor-Leste can use alternative protections for their trademarks. Customers can use the above measures. If you plan to do business in Timor-Leste, it is important to understand the applicable trademark regulations. Trademark registration is an important step in protecting the intellectual property of businesses. By registering your trademark, you can help ensure that your trademark is protected from unauthorized use and infringement.

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