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Sudan, South Sudan and Intellectual Property Rights

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Clients frequently send me queries and requests regarding the protection of their intellectual property rights in South Sudan. The Sudan, South Sudan situation can indeed be confusing for foreign clients, considering that the independence of South Sudan is relatively new, the country is actually the world’s newest country. I hope this post will help in clearing up the confusion.

After decades of civil war between the now two countries, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan following a referendum to determine whether the majority of southern Sudanese were in favor of becoming independent of Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan is today an independent state having a separate legal system and legislation.

Despite South Sudan declaring its independence in 2011, the two countries still share neighbourly common interests and economic ties. The new state has built systems very similar to the systems of Republic of Sudan in many aspects, including law, politics, civil service and business.

With regards to rights gained under the laws of the Republic of Sudan prior to the independence, several types of rights are organised with special agreements between the two countries. However, no agreement was signed regarding intellectual property rights. Further, all trademark and patent registrations obtained prior to the independence continues to be valid in the Republic of Sudan only, but are invalid in the new state. If protecting your trademark or patent in South Sudan is of interest to you, a separate registration in accordance with the applicable legislation in South Sudan must be obtained.

Unfortunately, till date, the registration process for trademarks, patents or other intellectual property rights is not yet open in South Sudan, nor a legislation has been enacted.

Yousra Badi

Founder and Principal Lawyer


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