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OAPI/AIPO

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12-08-2015 (Newsletter Issue 19/15)
Accession to Singapore Treaty
On November 13, 2015, the Director General of WIPO has notified the deposit by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) of its instrument of accession to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. The said instrument contained the following declarations:

In accordance with Article 29 of the Singapore Treaty:
- "The provisions of Article 6 of the said Treaty will not be applicable to OAPI. According to the said provisions, where goods or services belonging to several classes of the Nice Classification have been included in one and the same application, such an application shall result in one and the same registration.
- The provisions of Article 19(2) of the Treaty will not be applicable to OAPI. OAPI requires the recordal of a license as a condition for any right that the license may have under the provisions of the Bangui Agreement, to join infringement proceedings initiated by the holder or to obtain, by way of such proceedings, damages resulting from an infringement of the mark which is the subject of the license".

The Treaty will enter into force on February 13, 2016.

Source: www.wipo.int


03-31-2015 (Newsletter Issue 5/15)
Fees and Licence Recordal for IR Designating OAPI
1. As provided for by Rule 34(2)(b) of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to that Agreement (“the Common Regulations”), the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) has notified the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that it accepts to collect and forward to the International Bureau of WIPO the fees due under the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations.

Pursuant to Rule 35(1) of the Common Regulations, any fees paid to the International Bureau of WIPO should be in Swiss currency, irrespective of the fact that OAPI may have collected such fees in another currency.

2. As provided for by Rule 20bis(6)(b) of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to that Agreement (“the Common Regulations”), the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) has notified the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that the recording of licenses in the International Register shall have no effect in the territory of its member States.

Consequently, a license relating to an international registration of a mark which has been granted with respect to OAPI shall, in order to have effect in that Contracting Party, be recorded in the Register of OAPI. The formalities required for such recording must be completed directly with OAPI and according to the conditions laid down by the legislation of that Contracting Party.

3. Both notifications entered into force on the date of entry into force of the Madrid Protocol with respect to OAPI, namely, March 5, 2015.

Source: www.wipo.int


01-13-2015 (Newsletter Issue 1/15)
Accession to the Madrid Protocol
On December 5, 2014, the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) deposited with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) its instrument of accession to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“the Madrid Protocol”). The Madrid Protocol will enter into force, with respect to OAPI, on March 5, 2015.

The said instrument of accession was accompanied by the following declarations:

The declaration referred to in Article 5(2)(b) and (c) of the Madrid Protocol, whereby the time limit of one year to notify a provisional refusal of protection is replaced by 18 months, and a provisional refusal resulting from an opposition may be notified after the expiry of the 18-month time limit;

The declaration referred to in Article 8(7)(a) of the Madrid Protocol, whereby OAPI wishes to receive an individual fee where it is designated in an international application, in a designation subsequent to an international registration and in respect of the renewal of an international registration where OAPI has been designated (instead of a share in the revenue produced by the supplementary and complementary fees).

Source: www.wipo.int


05-02-2013 (Newsletter Issue 6/13)
Comoro Islands Becomes a Member
The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) announced that the Comoro Islands ratified the Bangui Accord on March 25, 2013. Accordingly, the Comoro Islands is now a full member of OAPI.

Since the Comoros Islands has not yet legislated Intellectual Property laws, right holders who seek to protect their rights in the Comoro Islands can only publish a Cautionary Notice. Therefore, all trademarks filed with OAPI on or after March 25, 2013 will be effective in the Comoro Islands.

As for other registrations filed prior to the said date, they will be granted an extension period automatically on their next renewal after March 25, 2013.

By its adherence to the Bangui Accord, the Comoro Islands brings the total number of Member States of OAPI to 17.

The OAPI’s Members now include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo in addition to Comoro Islands.

Source: www.ag-ip-news.com


The OAPI (or AIPO) states are a union of French speaking African countries.
Member states are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
These countries are treated as one state in trademark law. Apart from that there is no national trademark law in the member states. Therefore it is not possible to obtain national registrations in these countries. Legal basis is the Treaty of Libreville of 1962 (in force since January 1st, 1964) revised by the Bangui Treatment of 1977.
Existing trademarks can be extended to new member states within 18 months.
AIPO/OAPI becomes a member of the Madrid Protocol on 5 March 2015.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Nice classification
Registrable as a trademark is any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods and services of any enterprise, including in particular surnames by themselves or in a distinctive form, special, arbitrary or fanciful designations, the characteristic form of a product or its packaging, labels, wrappers, emblems, prints, stamps, seals, vignettes, borders, combinations or arrangements of colours, drawings, reliefs, letters, numbers, devices, pseudonyms.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks and collective marks.
The application is filed at the Central Office in Yaounde (Cameroon).
Multiple-class applications are possible. However, separate applications have to be filed for goods and services.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A non-legalised power of attorney is sufficient.
For each trademark a new power of attorney is necessary.
The application process includes only a formal examination, without indication of possible identical or similar trademarks.
The processing time from first filing to registration or first office action is approx. 9 to 12 months.
After registration, the trademark is published in the official Trademark Bulletin.
National:
The opposition period is 6 months from the publication date of the trademark in the Official Gazette.

Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
member of the Madrid Protocol since March 2015. The legislation of the OAPI (i.e. Bangui agreements) has not been modified to the Madrid Protocol yet.
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from the expiry date of the mark with late payment of fees.
If the trademark has not been used within 5 years from registration or has later not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, it may be subject to cancellation at the request of any interested party. Use in one member state suffices to satisfy the use requirement for all member countries. Proof of use is no longer required for renewal applications filed after entry into force of the new law on February 28th, 2002.
The official fee is approx. EUR 610.00 for up to three classes, approx. EUR 125.00 for each additional class. For a coloured trademark an official fee of approx. EUR 75.00 is added.
Search type First class Add. class
Word Mark Search (availability) 270,00 € 150,00 €  
Word Mark Search (identical) 250,00 € 130,00 €  

The Prices above are SMD Group Search Fees

Country Surveys of Member States

Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Agreement
03-03-2011
Cabinet Maitre Cheikh Fall, Dakar, Senegal
Patimark LLP, Douala-Cameroon, Cameroon


Inlex Africa



Jeremy Giacopazzi

Jeremy Giacopazzi
Carrefour Bastos, Immeuble DITA
B.P 4057 Yaounde, Center Region
Cameroon (CM)
Tel +237 222 21 89 17
fsoutoul@inlex-africa.com
www.inlex-africa.com

INLEX AFRICA is the first French Intellectual Property Firm located in AFRICA.

After developing continuously its expertise during 20 years in France, Eric SCHAHL and Franck SOUTOUL have decided to open an office for the support and protection of their client’s interests in AFRICA.

Therefore and since June 2014, we opened our office in Yaounde (Cameroon), which is managed by Jeremy GIACOPAZZI (OAPI Trademark & Patent Attorney).

OAPI system is unique as it affords to the Applicant a single regional title of protection valid in 17 French-speaking African countries namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Comoros.

Thanks to its long experience in France and its European working know-how, the team INLEX AFRICA will be the best representative to reply to your legal or administrative queries, and is able to intervene on the whole African territory, thanks to the opening in October 2016 of 2 hubs in Mauritius (Ebene Cyber city) and in Morocco (Casablanca).

Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) (AIPO/OAPI)
158, place de la prefecture
B.P. 887
Yaounde
Cameroon
Tel +237 22 20 57 00 or 22 20 39 31
Fax +237 22 20 57 27 or 22 20 57 21
Mail oapi@oapi.int
www.oapi.int