Angola is a lusophone country on the west coast of Africa. Over the past two decades, it has piqued the interest of big brands and multinationals as a lucrative destination for investment. Many companies have preventively filed their trademarks there in order to market their products or services safely in the future. Further, it is common to find several applications for well-known trademarks on behalf of national companies or people in the national trademark bulletin – these tend to generate many oppositions. This article provides a global analysis of trademark applications in Angola to uncover the trends.
A record number of trademark applications were filed in Angola in 2014 (around 5,500). While numbers have since fallen, in the last three years it seems that the upward trend has resumed its course.
Class 35 is the preferred one for trademark applications in Angola, with 7% of trademark applications designating this, followed by Classes 9 and 41.
The top five nationalities of trademark applicants in Angola are Angolans, followed by Portuguese, North Americans, South Africans and French.
The companies with the most trademarks in Angola are as follows:
The Angolan national companies with the most trademarks are as follows:
In Angola, the brands of several multinational entities are protected. In many cases, these registrations were preventative, since the vast majority of these businesses do not operate directly in the country. Generally in Angola, it is common for prestigious trademark applications to be the subject of litigation between multinationals and companies or local applicants.
Looking at Angola's Trademark Bulletin, it is easy to identify trademark applications by national applicants that operate under another name in other countries. In some cases, the registration of these marks has been prevented. However, when dealing with marks that have a presence in a few countries but that are not well known in Angola, it is very difficult to invalidate these registrations.
Most multinationals are aware of this situation and are rushing to file applications for their marks. The richness of the natural resources and its immensity along the African continent has made Angola an attractive country for foreign investment.
This is a co-published article, which was originally published in the World Trademark Review (WTR).