Zimbabwe IP Overview

The legal system for protection of intellectual property rights has existed for many years in Zimbabwe, initially established by the British. There are a number of areas of intellectual property which can be protected. The main areas are: patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyrights.
The national office in Zimbabwe for intellectual property is the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (“ZIPO”) which was formerly known as Zimbabwe Patents, Trade Marks, Industrial Designs and Copyright Office. It functions under the authority of the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for the administration of intellectual property including grant and registration of new applications and recordal of assignments, licensing and other matters related to all aspects of intellectual property with exception of Plant Breeder’s rights which is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. Since Zimbabwe is a member of the Berne Convention, registration of copyright is not required for protection. However, additional rights are conferred by the Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights Act.


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