Annual Technical Report 2004 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Zambia (SCIT/ATR/PI/2004/ZM)


Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.


I. Evolution of patent activities

In the year 2004, the number of applications increased as compared to 2003 due to PCT and ARIPO patent applications designating Zambia. While the total number of patent applications increased the number national applications by both local residents and non-residents decreased due to use the PCT and ARIPO routes designating Zambia.

Zambia is a member of ARIPO. Therefore, applicants can seek protection of their inventions in Zambia through ARIPO and vice visa. Zambia is also a receiving Office for both the International Bureau and ARIPO.

In Zambia, protection is granted to inventions belonging to fields of science and technology, including medical products. However, protection is not extended to plants or animal varieties and method of treatment of human or animal body and diagnostic of the same. With the advent of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, there has been tremendous increase to applications in the field of herbal medicines.

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

The Zambia Patent and Trade Marks Journal, published on the 25th of every month, is the official publication for patents in Zambia. This publication can be accessed directly from the Zambia Patent Office or by subscription.

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

Patent applications are classified using the international patent classification (IPC), currently using Seventh Edition.
The bibliographic data for patents is by way of INID codes.
Patent documents are stored in coordinate index (key word indexing).

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

Searches are done manually using the key word index. Storage and updating of information is also done manually

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

The Patent information system is not yet automated.

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Lodgment of patent applications and all attendant matters are done at the Zambia Patent Office at a prescribed fee. Information on all patent documents that have been accepted and published may be accessed and obtained from the Zambia Patent Office at a minimal fee. The Office also provides literature on how to obtain protection in Zambia.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

The Zambia Patent Office has been able to receive gazettes from Canada, Japan, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, ARIPO, EPO and WIPO, and CD-ROMs/DVD from EPO, Japanese Patent Office and WIPO. The Office has been sending the Journal to various IP Offices

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

The Office conducted several seminars, workshops and exhibitions in order create awareness on Patent activities in Zambia.

IX. Other relevant matters


1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.


2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.


3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.