Intellectual property legislation in the Sudan includes Patents and Design Law No. 58 of 1971, Trademarks Law No.8 of 1969, Copyright and Related Rights Law of December 1996. The Sudan has ratified the WIPO Convention as of February 1974 and is a signatory of the Paris Convention (Industrial Property) since April 1984, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as of April 1984, the Madrid Agreement (International Registration of Marks) since May 1984, and the PLT (Patent Law Treaty) since June 2000, and the Berne Convention as of December 2000. Industrial Property is administered by the Registrar General of Intellectual Property under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice (The Attorney General Chambers). Copyright and Related Rights is administered by the Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property (Copyright) under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
When an application is filed, the Patents Section of the Registrar General of Intellectual Property Office will examine the patent application to ensure compliance as regards formal requirements. Once compliance with formal requirements has been satisfied, the application shall be given a filing number and a filing date. The application for a patent must relate to only one invention, however, the applicant after being notified to amend his application, may within a period of three months file one or more divisional applications which shall benefit from the date of the original application. Claims of one or more products, one or more manufacturing processes for the product, one ore more applications for products may be included.
If formal requirements called for under the Implementing Regulations are not satisfied the applicant will be notified to complete formal requirements within a period not exceeding 90 days from the date of notification. Patents are valid for 20 years as from the date of filing. Annuities can be paid on or before the due date, however a grace period of 6 months is permitted, subject to payment of a fine. The patentee must exploit the patent within a period of 4 years as from the filing date or 3 years as from the date of grant. Accordingly, if a patentee failed to exploit the invention within the prescribed period, an interested third party may get in the way and request cancellation of the patent or grant of a compulsory license. The Patents Section of the Registrar General of the Intellectual Property Office may, in an appropriate case, grant a compulsory license to any interested person in a position to put the patent into operation.
An assignment of a patent requires to be recorded in the Official Gazette within a period of 6 months subject to presentation of a duly executed and legalized deed of assignment. Pursuant to S.9 any person prior to acceptance or after acceptance of a patent grant may challenge the patent right on the ground of usurpation to the effect that the applicant for the patent has wrongfully obtained the invention or any part thereof by way of filching i.e. theft. Again, Pursuant to S. 47 any person may initiate legal proceeding after the patent has been granted requesting revocation on the following grounds. First, that the subject of the patent is not patentable within the terms as prescribed under the Patents Act. Second, that the description of the invention or the claim or claims in the patent does not satisfy the requirements as prescribed under the Patents Act. Third, that for the same invention, a patent has already been granted in the country as a result of a prior application or for an application benefiting from an earlier application. Opposition matters shall be presided over by the Intellectual Property Tribunal whose decision shall be appealed to the competent Appeal Court.
Formal filing requirements for a non-PCT application are as follows:
Formal filing requirements for a PCT application are as follows:
NOTE: Documents required for mandatory formal filing are: Particulars of the applicant, title of the invention, copy of the specification, claims, formal drawings, and an abstract as published by WIPO. Other indicated documents may be filed within a two months period. Applications based on International Search article 22, chapter 1 of the PCT enters into Sudan national phase within twenty (20) months from the date of the priority claim. However those based on an international preliminary examination article 39, chapter 11 of PCT shall enter in Sudan national phase within 30 months from the date of the priority claim.
The Sudan is a member of African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO). Please click on ARIPO to see filing requirements.
An examination shall be carried out by the Industrial Designs Office of the Registrar General of the Intellectual Property Office. Designs are examined as to form to ensure conformity with formal filing requirements. In the event no official objections are brought up; and the design is approved, registration shall be consummated in a comparatively short period. Notification of approval will be published in the Official Gazette. If the proprietor elects to assign his right in the design, a duly executed deed of assignment must be recorded within a period of six months and hence published in the Official Gazette. A design is valid for a period of 5 years from the filing date and it is renewable for two consecutive similar periods. Infringements are presided over by the Industrial Property Tribunal. Decisions can be appealed to the Court of Appeal whose decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Formal filing requirements.
The Trademarks Section of the Registrar General of the Intellectual Property Office will examine application to ensure formal compliance. Once formal compliance is secured, the application will be published in the Official Gazette, and hence the Certificate of Registration will be issued. Completion of formal requirements must be made within a period of three months from the date of notification thereof. Opposition to registration may be made by residents or non-residents within a period of six months or eight months respectively as from the date of publication. The International Classification of Goods and Services is followed (Nice Classification). The term of validity for a duly registered trademark is 10years, renewable for similar periods subject to payment of the prescribed fee, nonetheless a period of 6 months grace is allowed. A trademark may be assigned with or without goodwill; however an assignment must be recorded within a period of six months from the date of assignment as shown in deed of assignment. A trademark may be cancelled, if an interested third party established cogent grounds showing non-use for a period of five years as from the date of filing. Infringement acts include, inter alia, unfair competition acts and passing off and shall be presided over by the Industrial Property Tribunal. Decisions can be appealed to the Court of Appeal whose decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
NOTE: The same documents are required for Service and Collective Marks Applications. All documents may be filed together with the application form or later within a period preferably not exceeding a three months period.
Formal requirements are as follows;
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
Range and extent of protection.
The copyright law provides protection, among other things, for written works, phonographs and cinematographic films, theatre and musical pieces, television and radio works for publication, paintings, sculpture and architecture, maps and speeches. Software is considered as a literary work and as such a 25 years protection is provided. Protection under the copyright law ends 25 years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the 25 years protection shall begin on the date the material was first published. The author may assign the rights granted to him subject to prescribed terms and conditions. Infringements may be litigated before the competent court in light of the nature of the infringement act. The court’s order may involve suspension of the infringement act, in addition to payment of losses and damages. Or it may involve confiscation and destruction of the infringed products
Formal filing requirements are as follows: