Patents

International Arrangements:

  • Paris Union (from 13 May 2002)
  • WIPO (from 13 May 2002)
  • PCT (from 23 September 2016)

(Note: It was for some time believed that Djibouti had become a member of OAPI and that non-PCT OAPI patents would also extend to that country. It transpired that Djibouti did not satisfy the membership requirements of OAPI and it is accordingly not a member of OAPI at this time.)

Types of Patents Available:

  • Patents of Invention
  • National Phase PCT Application
  • Certificates of Addition

Novelty Requirements:
Absolute novelty is required. However, novelty will not be destroyed if the disclosure of the invention to the public occurred not earlier than twelve months preceding the filing date or where applicable the priority date owing to acts committed by:

  • the applicant or his legal predecessor,
  • a Patent Office that has unduly published or made available to the public a patent application filed by the applicant or his legal predecessor, or an application filed without the knowledge or consent of the applicant or his legal predecessor by a third party which obtained information directly or indirectly from the applicant or his legal predecessor, or
  • a third party which obtained the information contained in the item of prior art directly or indirectly from the inventor.

Patentability:
Methods of diagnostic or surgical or therapeutic treatment for the human or animal body are not patentable. However products for use in any such methods may be patented.

Filing Requirements:

National Phase PCT Application:

  • Power of Attorney (simply signed)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in French (can be late filed within 1 month)
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on the day of filing)
  • International Patent Classification (can be late filed)
  • Assignment of Invention (can be late filed)
  • Copy of Published International Application (can be late filed)
  • Copy of International Search Report (can be late filed)
  • Copy of International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed)

Patents of Invention (Non-PCT):

  • Power of Attorney (simply signed) (required on the day of filing)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in French (can be late filed within 1 month) 
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on the day of filing) 
  • Assignment of Invention (can be late filed) 
  • Priority document with verified French translation (can be late filed)

Grant:
The term of a patent is twenty years from the filing date.

Renewal:
Renewal fees fall due at intervals of 5 years, the first being payable simultaneously with the application fee then on the 5th, 10th and 15th anniversaries of the filing date.

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