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Quick info guide

Patenting criteria

Products or processes qualify if they are;

  • Novel or new
  • Have an inventive step
  • Have industrial applicability

Additionally, the products or process must be neither what has been expressly excluded from patentability nor non-patentable subject matter.

Patenting cost

The total cost from Application to Grant (*when done at PACRA)

  •    For local applicant: ZMW1,500
  •    For foreign applicant: ZMW5,000

Contact information

Patents and Companies Registration Agency
Plot No.8471
Haile Selassie Avenue, Longacres
P.O. Box 32020, Lusaka
Tel: +260 211 255151 / +260 211 255127
Email: pro@pacra.org.zm
Website: https://www.pacra.org.zm

Obtaining a patent in Zambia

A patent refers to an exclusive right given to an individual or firm to make, use or sell an invention and exclude others from doing so. Patents are usually given for a limited period. They are essential for businesspeople to protect their products from duplication and potentially harmful competition. 

Patents granting processes are provided through application to either the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) or the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation ARIPO.

Patenting Laws

The Patents Act, Chapter 400 of the laws of Zambia, governs patent protection in Zambia. Patents are granted in relation to inventions by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) for a term of 16 years. PACRA is a semi-autonomous executive agency of Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. It is mandated to operate a legal system for registration and protection of commercial and industrial property and to serve as a legal depository of the information tendered for registration.

Why patent

  • Patents provide incentives to the individuals; thus, Inventors deserve recognition for their creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions;
  • The incentives encourage innovation, which ensures quality of human life is enhanced;
  • Protection rendered by patenting stimulates research resulting in technological development;
  • It enables the inventor/s to recoup their investment for the money and time spent developing the ideas in Research and Development;
  • It also enables future researchers not to re-invent the wheel;
  • Patents promote innovation and dissemination of information by obliging the owner to publicly disclose the information which enriches the total technical knowledge in the world;
  • Patents make it possible for individuals and businesses to protect their work and investment;
  • Patents allow a small business to compete with larger companies that could take their idea and produce it more efficiently and on a larger scale; and
  • Patents protect inventions for large companies.