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OAPI

Patent Information

International and Regional Arrangements:

  • Paris Convention:  Yes
  • PCT:  Yes (national phase deadline is 30 months from the priority date)

Member States (17):

  • Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo (Republic of), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo
  • All member states are automatically covered in an OAPI patent application, and it is not possible to select only some member states
  • A granted OAPI patent is automatically effective in each member state, and no post-grant validation procedure is required

Filing Requirements:

  • Published PCT application, or English or French specification, claims and abstract if non-PCT (required on day of filing)
  • English or French translation of PCT specification if not in either of these languages
  • Power of Attorney, simply signed (can be filed within 3 months)
  • International Search Report and International Preliminary Report on Patentability for national phase applications (no set deadline)
  • Assignment of Invention, simply signed (if not lodged in the international phase) (can be filed within 3 months)
  • Certified priority document (if not lodged in the international phase), and a verified English or French translation thereof for non-PCT applications (can be filed within 6 months)

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 10 pages and for more than 10 claims, payable at time of filing

Examination:     As to form only

Term of Patent:  20 years from the effective filing date

Renewals:   Payable annually in advance from the first anniversary of the effective filing date

Trade Mark Information

International and Regional Arrangements:

  • Madrid Protocol: Yes
  • Paris Union: Yes

OAPI is the regional filing system which covers mostly West-African French-speaking countries and works well for trade marks.

Member States (17):

  • Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros Islands, Congo (Republic of), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo
  • One trade mark application covers all member states and it is not possible to obtain national registrations other than by way of an OAPI application
  • One application can cover either goods or services; two separate applications will need to be filed if the trade mark covers goods and services

Types of Trade Marks:

  • Goods and services
  • Collective marks
  • No provision for defensive marks or series marks

Classification: The International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification) is applied.

Filing Requirements:

  • Particulars of Applicant (name, address and nationality)
  • Power of Attorney
  • Representation of the mark
  • List of goods and / or services
  • Certified copy of the priority document

Duration: The trade mark is registered 10 years from the filing date

Renewal: Renewable every 10 years

Please contact us for further information on OAPI.

General OAPI Information

International / Regional Conventions:

  • Berne Convention (all countries are members)
  • Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
  • International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Palnts
  • Nice Agreement on Classification of Marks (only Benin and Guinea are members)
  • Paris Convention (all countries are members)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (all countries are members)
  • Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
  • Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks
  • WIPO Convention (all countries are members)
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty (only Benin, Burkina, Faso, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Togo are members)
  • WTO/TRIPS (all countries are members except Equatorial Guinea)