Guinea became a member State of OAPI with effect from 13 January 1990. Since that date it has not been possible to file trade mark applications in Guinea and new marks have been protected by registration with OAPI (see separate text).
By the act of accession, Guinea adopted the OAPI treaties as its national trade mark law. The Greffe (registry) ceased to accept national applications but for many years it continued to accept renewals and post-registration transactions affecting existing Guinea registrations.
Later, the status of those subsisting Guinea national registrations was affected by a series of OAPI pronouncements, which apparently should have been effective in Guinea and whose intent was to close down the registration facility operated by the Greffe.
There was uncertainty how successful those measures were, vis-à-vis the national system and the quest for clarity was frustrated by loss of communication with the Guinea authorities. The subject is reviewed in an article, available on our website and entitled OAPI – Acceding Countries – Extending OAPI Trade Mark Rights – Survival of National Rights (The Guinea Factor).
However, the conclusions can now be stated as follows:
- Guinea national registrations ceased to be renewable in 1998.
- All OAPI registrations renewed since 1998 apply automatically to Guinea.
- The Greffe has finally ceased the issue of certificates of renewal, etc., and communications with the Greffe having been lost, no more applications can be filed for renewal of or other dealings with a Guinea registration.
- The last national Guinea registration will expire by 3 December 2013, and all subsisting OAPI registrations extend to Guinea.
We shall be very pleased to discuss individual cases.