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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Feb 28, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 3/19)
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Changes to System Proposed

OAPI proposes changes to the legislation which will affect the OAPI member countries. Two thirds of the OAPI members (12 countries) need to ratify the proposal in order to come into effect. Seven member states have done this so far.

Some of the proposed changes on trademarks are the following:
- The definition of a trademark will be extended to include sounds, music, audio-visual signs and series marks
- Certification marks shall be introduced
- Priority right restoration will be possible
- Trademark applications may be divided
- Substantive examination on absolute grounds to include deceptiveness to origin and genericity
- Trademark application will be published after filing
- Opposition period will be 3 months from publication date
- Claim of ownership’ within 3 months of the publication date of the application
- Cancellation of generic marks possible
- Specific Reference to International Registrations wil be made.

The validity of international registrations designating OAPI however is not yet clear since the Madrid Protocol was never formally incorporated into the Bangui Agreement.

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