The Comoro Islands became the 17th member state of OAPI on 25 May 2013 and all new OAPI patent and trade mark applications filed on or after this date will automatically cover these islands.
Granted OAPI patents can also be extended to cover this new member state by way of an application to the OAPI registrar. An application for extension should be filed within 20 months of the Comoro Islands joining OAPI, i.e. by 25 January 2015, although it will still be possible to apply for the extension after this date on payment of a fine.
The application for extension can only be filed once a patent has been granted, and any pending OAPI applications which were filed before 25 May 2013 will have to proceed to grant before they can be extended to include the Comoro Islands.
Trade Mark Information
All registered trade marks due for renewal in OAPI, and for which their renewal date falls after 25 May 2013, shall automatically be renewed to cover the Comoros.
Up until now, no IP legislation had been passed in the Comoros. Those looking to protect their rights could only do so by publishing a Cautionary Notice.
We wish to bring the following to your attention:
- NEW TRADE MARK APPLICATIONS: All new trade mark applications filed in OAPI after the effective date of 25 May 2013, shall cover the Comoros Islands
- REGISTERED TRADE MARKS: All trade marks due for renewal in OAPI and which renewal date falls after 25 May 2013 shall automatically be renewed to cover the Comoros Islands. Proprietors of registered trade marks filed before 25 May 2013, who wish to extend their rights prior to the renewal date need to file applications for the extension of their rights to cover the Comoros Islands.
- DEADLINE FOR EXTENSION: The deadline to apply for the extension of rights of a registered trade mark to Comoros Islands is twenty (20) months from the beginning of the effective date of 25 May 2013. Therefore proprietors’ can file for the extensions before 25 January 2015.
View more information on OAPI, Comoros and Africa here and please contact us if you have any questions.
By Claire Brown, Africa Trademarks and Sandra Clelland, Africa Patents