August 19, 2020

Uganda and Lao People's Democratic Republic join TMClass and DesignClass

The intellectual property office of Uganda has joined TMClass and DesignClass, whilst the IPO of the Lao People's Democratic Republic has also joined TMClass. Uganda acceded to both databases as of August 3, 2020, whilst the Lao People's Democratic Republic joined TMClass on August 10, 2020.

Applicants for both Uganda and the Lao People's Democratic Republic will now be able to utilize the TMclass harmonised database of goods (HDB). The useful tool allows for the search and translation of goods and services in 44 different languages. The Lao People's Democratic Republic for example, joined TMClass allowing for the search and translation in both Lao and English. These additions now mean that the tool consists of 82 participating offices, including ARIPO, OAPI, and WIPO.

The EUIPO has implemented various programmes in order to facilitate the expansion of TMClass, which in turn assists trademark applicants from across the globe. Uganda joined the database as a result of the ARISE + Intellectual Property Rights programme, facilitated by the EUIPO.

The accession to DesignClass by Uganda means that applicants may now access a comprehensive list of terms from the harmonised database of product indications (HDBPI), a vital tool to the database. Uganda marks the 10th IP office outside of the European Union privy to the harmonised database, which allows for the search and translation of product indications in 28 various languages.

Uganda acceding to both TMClass and DesignClass comes as a direct result of projects funded by the EU, aiming to expand on the international scope of the databases. A project named Intellectual Property Rights Action for Africa, funded by the EU and the EUIPO, assisted Uganda in joining the database tools.

The expansion of both TMClass and DesignClass demonstrates an international effort to assist applicants from across the globe in protecting their IP. An increase in both trademark and design applications is hoped for following the decision of both Uganda and Lao People's Democratic Republic to join the respective databases.

Author: Danielle Carvey