Patents - OAPI

African Intellectual Property Organisation

OAPI registrations afford protection in: Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Republic of), Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

PCT:

All OAPI States have ratified the Patent Co-operation Treaty. Therefore, an OAPI Regional Phase of a PCT International Application will automatically include all member states.

The Chapter I and Chapter II deadlines are thirty months from the priority date.

Patentability:

Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy as well as diagnostic methods are not patentable. However products for use in any such methods may be patented.

Novelty:

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, and it was as a consequence:

  • of the applicant or his predecessor in title displaying the invention at an official or officially recognised international exhibition, subject to the production of an officially recognised certificate attesting to the participation at such exhibition, or
  • an abuse committed by a third party with regard to the applicant or his predecessor in title.

Filing requirements:

Patents of invention (non-PCT):

  • Power of Attorney (simply signed) (can be late filed within three months)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in English or French (required on day of filing)
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on day of filing)
  • Assignment of Priority Rights (can be late filed within three months)
  • Priority document with a verified English or French translation thereof (can be late filed within six months)

Regional Phase PCT applications:

  • Power of Attorney (simply signed) (can be late filed within three months)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in English or French (required on day of filing)
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on day of filing)
  • Assignment of Priority Rights (can be late filed within six months)
  • Copy of International Publication (required on day of filing)
  • Copy of International Search Report (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Copy of International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed, no set deadline)

Grant:

On grant, the patent becomes effective in all member States. The patent is governed by the provisions of the Bangui Agreement in each member State. The term of the patent is twenty years.

Renewal:

Renewal fees fall due annually from the first anniversary of the filing date.

Please contact us for further information.