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ARIPO Patents

Patent Information

International and Regional Arrangements:

  • Paris Convention: Yes
  • PCT: Yes (national phase deadline is 31 months from the priority date)

Member States (18):

  • Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sào Tomé & Principe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Somalia is also a member of ARIPO but cannot be designated at this time)
  • Member states in which protection is required must be selected at the time of filing an ARIPO application. No post-grant validation procedure is required
  • Patent protection can also be obtained by filing a direct patent application in individual member states, but in many instances it is preferable to file an ARIPO application (even where only one member state is to be designated)

Filing Requirements:

Convention application

  • Specification, claims, abstract and drawings (required on day of filing)
  • English translation of specification, claims, abstract and drawings if published in a different language (can be filed within 2 months)
  • Copy of Power of Attorney, simply signed (can be filed within 2 months)
  • Copy of Assignment of Invention, simply signed (can be filed within 4 months)
  • Certified priority document with English translation (can be filed within 3 months)

PCT national phase application (in addition to above documents)

  • Published PCT specification, claims, abstract and drawings (required on day of filing)
  • English translation of specification, claims, abstract and drawings if published in a different language (can be filed within 2 months)
  • Copy of Power of Attorney, simply signed (can be filed within 2 months)
  • Copy of Assignment of Invention, simply signed (can be filed within 4 months)
  • International Search Report and International Preliminary Report on Patentability (no set deadline)

Novelty:   Absolute novelty is required

Patentability:   Methods of medical treatment, surgery or diagnosis are not patentable

Excess Fees:   Excess fees are incurred for specifications in excess of 30 pages and claims in excess of 10, payable at time of grant

Examination:   Substantive examination must be requested within 3 years of date of filing in ARIPO

Term of Patent:   Generally 20 years from the effective filing date (although the term may be slightly shorter in a few countries which have not yet harmonised their laws with ARIPO)

Renewals:   Payable annually in advance from the first anniversary of the effective filing date. Renewal costs are based on the number of member states designated

General ARIPO Information

International / Regional Conventions:

  • Berne Convention (all countries are members except Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Uganda)
  • Hague Agreement on Designs (only Ghana, Namibia and Rwanda are members)
  • Madrid Agreement on Marks (Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland are members)
  • Madrid Protocol on Marks (11 countries are members; Gambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe are not yet members)
  • Nice Agreement on Classification of Marks (only Tanzania is a member)
  • Paris Convention (all countries except Somalia)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (all countries except Somalia)
  • WIPO Convention (all countries are members)
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty (only Botswana and Ghana are members)
  • WTO/TRIPS (all countries are members except Liberia, Somalia and Sudan).

Please contact us for further information.