CHAPTER 217
PATENTS (REGISTRATION) ACT

[PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   Section

Title

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.

PART II
THE PATENTS OFFICE

   3.   Establishment of Patents Office.

   4.   Appointment of officers.

   5.   Functions of the Patents Office.

   6.   Patents Register.

PART III
PATENTABILITY

   7.   Definition.

   8.   Patentable invention.

   9.   Novelty.

   10.   Inventive step.

   11.   Industrial application.

   12.   Prohibition by law, public order or morality.

   13.   Temporary exclusion from patentability.

PART IV
RIGHT TO PATENT: NAMING OF INVENTOR

   14.   Right to patent.

   15.   Unauthorised application based on another's invention.

   16.   Inventions made in execution of commission or by employees.

   17.   Naming of inventor.

PART V
GRANT OF PATENTS

   18.   Application for grant of patent.

   19.   Unity of invention.

   20.   Amendment and division of application.

   21.   Right of priority.

   22.   Furnishing of information on corresponding foreign applications and grants.

   23.   Payment of fees.

   24.   Withdrawal of application.

   25.   Filing date, examination of application as to form and unity of invention.

   26.   International-type search.

   27.   Examination as to substance.

   28.   Grant, registration and publication of patent.

   29.   Patents granted by virtue of the protocol.

   30.   Appeals.

PART VI
INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION

   31.   Interpretation.

   32.   Functions of the Patents Office.

   33.   Unsearched or unexamined international application and lack of novelty.

   34.   Provisional protection of published international application.

PART VII
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE APPLICANT OR THE OWNER OF THE PATENT

   35.   Rights and obligations.

   36.   Rights of owner of patent.

   37.   Scope of protection.

   38.   Limitation of rights.

PART VIII
TERM OF PATENT AND ANNUAL FEES

   39.   Term of patent and extension.

   40.   Annual fees.

PART IX
CHANGE IN THE OWNERSHIP AND JOINT OWNERSHIP OF APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS

   41.   Change in ownership of applications and patents.

   42.   Joint ownership of applications and patents.

PART X
CONTRACTUAL LICENCES

   43.   Interpretation.

   44.   Rights of licensee.

   45.   Right of licensor to grant further licences and to use the invention.

   46.   Effects of non-grant or invalidation of patent.

   47.   Form of licence contracts.

   48.   Petition for registration.

   49.   Prohibited terms in licence contracts.

   50.   Registration of contract, certificate.

   51.   Confidentiality.

   52.   Remedies.

PART XI
COMPULSORY LICENCES

   53.   Compulsory licences for non-working and similar reasons.

   54.   Compulsory licences for interdependence of patents.

   55.   Compulsory licences for products and processes of vital importance.

   56.   Preconditions to grant of compulsory licences.

   57.   Grant and terms of compulsory licences.

   58.   Transfer of compulsory licences.

   59.   Cancellation of compulsory licences and variation of terms.

   60.   Registration of grants, cancellation or variation.

PART XII
LICENCES OF RIGHT

   61.   Licences of right.

PART XIII
EXPLOITATION OF PATENTED INVENTION BY OR THROUGH GOVERNMENT

   62.   Exploitation of patented invention by or through Government.

PART XIV
SURRENDER, INVALIDATION AND REVOCATION

   63.   Surrender of patents.

   64.   Invalidation of patent.

   65.   Effects of invalidation.

PART XV
INFRINGEMENT

   66.   Acts constituting infringement.

   67.   Relief.

   68.   Declaration of non-infringement.

   69.   Threat of infringement proceedings.

   70.   Criminal proceedings.

   71.   Presumption of use of patented process.

   72.   Legal proceedings by licensee.

PART XVI
UTILITY CERTIFICATES

   73.   Applicability of provisions relating to patents.

   74.   Special provisions relating to utility certificates.

   75.   Conversion of patent applications or applications for utility certificates.

PART XVII
UNITED KINGDOM DESIGNS (PROTECTION)

   76.   Rights in Tanzania of proprietor of design registered in United Kingdom.

   77.   Innocent infringer not liable for damages.

   78.   Grounds upon which Court may declare that rights have not been acquired in Tanzania.

PART XVIII
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   79.   Regulations.

   80.   [Repeal of R.L. Cap. 217.]

   81.   Saving and transitional provisions.

CHAPTER 217
THE PATENTS (REGISTRATION) ACT

An Act to provide for the Patents Registration Act so as to make better provisions for the promotion of inventivity and innovation for the facilitation of the acquisition of technology on fair terms through the grant and regulation of patents, utility certificates and innovation certificates.

[1st September, 1994] 1
[G.N. No. 457 of 1994]

Acts Nos.
1 of 1987
13 of 1991
14 of 1999
Ord. No. 25 of 1936
[R.L. Cap. 219]
G.N. No. 262 of 1995

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS (ss 1-2)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Patents (Registration) Act.

2.   Interpretation Act No. 14 of 1999 Sch.">

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "application" means an application for the grant of a patent under this Act and, subject to section 32(3), includes an international application referred to in section 31(1); and the word "applicant" shall be construed accordingly;

   "ARIPO" office means the secretariat of the African Regional Designs within the framework of the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO) as amended on 10th December, 1982;

   "Convention" means the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20th March 1883, and any revisions thereof to which Tanzania is or may become a party;

   "court" means the High Court of Tanzania;

   "International Bureau" means the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation established by the Convention signed at Stockholm on 14th July, 1967;

   "licensee" except in Part X of this Act, means a licensee under a contract registered or deemed to have been registered under section 50;

   "Minister" means the minister responsible for matters relating to patents;

   "Patent Co-operation Treaty" means the treaty of that name signed at Washington on 19th June, 1970;

   "register" means the register referred to in section 6;

   "Registrar" means the Registrar of Patents appointed under section 4;

   "Regulations" means the Regulations referred to in section 78;

and the verb "to work" shall be construed in accordance with section 39(3).

PART II
THE PATENTS OFFICE (ss 3-6)

3.   Establishment of Patents Office

   There is hereby established a Government Office to be known as the Patents Office.

4.   Appointment of officers

   (1) The President may by notice in the Gazette appoint a Registrar of Patents who shall perform the duties and exercise the powers assigned to the Registrar under this Act and be responsible for its administration.

   (2) The Minister may appoint one or more Deputy Registrar of Patents who shall, subject to the direction of the Registrar have powers and privileges conferred by this Act on the Registrar.

   (3) The Minister may appoint such examiners and other officers as may be necessary for carrying out the functions provided under this Act.

5.   Functions of the Patents Office

   The Functions of the Patents Office shall be–

   (a)   to grant patents under this Act;

   (b)   to promote inventiveness among nationals of the United Republic;

   (c)   to establish and operate a patent documentation centre for the purpose of dissemination of information on patents;

   (d)   to collaborate with other bodies whether local or international whose functions relate to patents matters;

   (e)   to provide information on patented technology so as to facilitate transfer and acquisition of technology by the United Republic;

   (f)   to perform such other functions as are necessary for the furtherance of the objects of this Act.

6.   Patents Register

   (1) The Registrar shall maintain a register in which he shall record all matters required to be registered under this Act.

   (2) Any person may on request consult the Patents Register and may take extracts from it on payment of a prescribed fee.

   (3) The details concerning the register shall be prescribed by regulations.

PART III
PATENTABILITY (ss 7-13)

7.   Definition

   (1) For the purposes of this Act, "invention" means a solution to a specific problem in the field of technology and may relate to a product or process.

   (2) The following shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of subsection (1)–

   (a)   discoveries, and scientific and mathematical theories;

   (b)   plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals, other than microbiological and the products of such processes;

   (c)   schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games;

   (d)   methods for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods; but shall not apply to products for use in any of those methods;

   (e)   more presentation of information.

8.   Patentable inventions

   An invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

9.   Novelty G.N. No. 262 of 1995">

   (1) An invention is new if it is not anticipated by prior art.

   (2) Everything made available to the public anywhere in the world by means of written disclosure (including drawings and other illustrations) or by oral disclosure, use, exhibition or other non-written means shall be considered prior art provided that such making available occurred before the date of the filing of the application, of priority is claimed, before the priority date, validly claimed in respect thereof.

   (3) For the sole purpose of the evaluation of novelty, an application for the grant of a patent or a utility certificate in the United Republic shall be considered to have been comprised in the prior art as from the filing date of such application or, if priority is claimed, as from the date of its validly claimed priority, to the extent to which its contents are available, or is later made available, to the public in accordance with this Act or in accordance with the Patent Co-operation Treaty.

   (4) A disclosure of the invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurs not earlier than six months before the filing date or, where applicable the priority date of the application and if it was by reason or in consequence of–

   (a)   the fact that the applicant or his predecessor in title displayed; or

   (b)   an evidence of abuse in relation to the applicant or his predecessor in title.

10.   Inventive step

   An invention shall be considered as involving an inventive step if, having regard to the prior art, within the meaning of section 9(2)(a), it would not have been obvious to a person skilled in the art on the date of the filing of the application or, if priority is claimed, on the priority date validly claimed in respect thereof.

11.   Industrial application

   An invention shall be taken to be capable of industrial application if according to its nature, it can be made or used, in the technological sense in any kind of industry, including agriculture, fishery and services.

12.   Prohibition by law, public order or morality G.N. No. 262 of 1995">

   A patent may be obtained even in respect of an invention the exploitation of which is prohibited by law, except where public order or morality prohibits the exploitation of the invention.

13.   Temporary exclusion from patentability

   Inventions which concern certain kinds of products, or processes for the manufacture of such products, may, by statutory instrument be extended for further periods, each such period not exceeding ten years.

PART IV
RIGHT TO PATENT: NAMING OF INVENTOR (ss 14-17)

14.   Right to patent G.N. No. 262 of 1995">

   (1) The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor.

   (2) If two or more persons have jointly made an invention, the right to the patent shall belong to them jointly.

   (3) If and to the extent to which two or more persons have made the same invention independently of each other, the person whose application has the earliest filing date or, if priority is claimed, the earliest validly claimed priority date, and leads to the grant of a patent, shall have the right to the patent.

   (4) The right to a patent may be assigned, or transferred by succession.

   (5) Section 48 to 52 shall apply mutatis mutandis to contracts assigning the right to a patent.

15.    Unauthorised application based on another's invention

   Where the person who is applying for the grant of a patent has obtained the essential elements of the invention, which is the subject of his application from the invention of another person, the person shall, unless authorised by that other person, assign to that other person the application or, where the patent has already been granted, the patent.

16.   Inventions made in execution of commission or by employees

   (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14 in the absence of contractual provisions to the contrary, the right to a patent for an invention made in execution of a commission or of an employment contract shall belong to the person having commissioned the work or to the employer.

   (2) The provision of subsection (1) shall apply when an employment contract does not require the employee to exercise any inventive activity, but where the employee has made the invention by using data or means available to him through his employment.

   (3) Where the provisions of subsection (2) are applicable, the employee shall have a right to equitable remuneration taking into account the importance of the invention and any benefit derived from the invention by the employer.

   (4) Any remuneration granted under subsection (3) shall in the absence of any agreement be fixed by the court. In the circumstances provided for in subsection (1) the inventor shall have a similar right if the invention is of very exceptional importance.

   (5) The advantages conferred on the inventor by the provision of subsection (3), cannot be diminished by contract.

17.   Naming of inventor

   (1) The inventor shall be named as such in the patent unless in a special written declaration addressed to the Registrar he indicates that he wishes not be named.

   (2) No promise or undertaking by an inventor made to any person to the effect that he will make such a declaration shall have legal effect.

PART V
GRANT OF PATENTS (ss 18-30)

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