My friend and I have invented a new method of irrigation. We want this method to be introduced in Tanzania but wish to patent this under our names. I heard that in Tanzania there are two registries, one in Tanzania mainland and another in Zanzibar. Do we need to register our patent in both registries? Or is it enough just to register through one registry? Are there alternatives to avoid double registration?
It is true that in Tanzania there are two registries where patents and other IP issues are dealt with. The rationale behind having two registries is that intellectual property does not fall under union matters and that each part of the union has a separate legal and institutional regime.
Therefore, if you want to register and protect your patent in Tanzania as a whole, it is not enough to register it in one registry alone. You need to apply at both registries.
Alternatively, Tanzania is a member of the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the Framework of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization. By virtue of being a member to this protocol, it is possible to protect your patent in Tanzania by registering the same through ARIPO and designate Tanzania. Since all international treaties and conventions ratified by the United Republic of Tanzania bind Tanganyika and Zanzibar, your patent registered through ARIPO under the above protocol, will be protected in both jurisdictions. You can decide either of the two approaches to registration but we recommend that you quickly register this patent.