African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO)
The African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) was set up by the Lusaka Agreement on the 9th December, 1976. The objectives are, inter alia, to promote, harmonize and develop the industrial property systems in the region. Membership of the Organization is open to States members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa or the Organization of the African Unity. The present member states are :-
- Sierra Leone*
*With effect from 25 February 1999
Within the framework of ARIPO, A Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs was adopted on the 10th December 1982, and entered into force on the 25th April, 1984. The Protocol empowers ARIPO to grant patents and register industrial designs on behalf of the contracting states. States which are not members of ARIPO under the Lusaka Agreement can attain membership merely by adhering to the ARIPO Harare Protocol. The present contracting States are : -
- Sierra Leone
* With effect from 3 August 1999
Within the framework of ARIPO, a Protocol on Trademarks, known as the BANJUL PROTOCOL was adopted by the contracting states and will entrust ARIPO with the registration of the marks and administration of such registered marks on behalf of the Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of this Protocol. The present contracting states to the Protocol are :
*With effect from 12 February 1999
**With effect from 3 August 1999
The ARIPO system coincides with the national systems of each member state such that an applicant may elect either system for protection if its mark or patent.
O A P I
African Intellectual Property Organization
The African Intellectual Property Organization (AIPO or OAPI being the English acronym)is a central registration system for French speaking African States . The member states for OAPI are :
- Central African Republic
- Guinea Bissau
- Burkina Faso
- Cote D'ivoire
Altogether there are 15 countries. Togo, Mali & Guinea were the last members to join in. The headquarters of OAPI is based in Yaunde, Cameroon.
The reasons for the creation of OAPI are to promote i) economic and social development needs ii) harmonization of laws affecting inventiveness and iii) cooperation among the member states. OAPI is responsible for implementing and applying common administrative procedures, contributing towards the promotion of literary and artistic expression and property rights, encouraging the creation of copyright bodies in member states and centralizing and coordinating information of all kinds relating to the protection of Patents, Trademarks, Literary and Artistic Property.
OAPI operates under a common system of protection of intellectual property which is characterized by uniform legislation applicable in each member state and by centralizing of administrative procedures at the Organization. The Bangui Agreement enables the users to have their rights protected in all member states through a single deposit, which is considered as a national deposit for each member state.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.