Trade Marks - OAPI

African Intellectual Property Organisation

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

International Arrangements:

Paris Union.
Madrid Union (Protocol)**

**OAPI joined Madrid effective 5 March 2015 but has not yet amended its law to give effect to international registrations.
International registrations designating OAPI are neither valid nor enforceable.

OAPI deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol on 5 December 2014. In order to give effect to its Madrid obligations, legislation must be passed which recognises those obligations. No such legislation has been passed. Consequently, International registrations are currently unenforceable in this territory.

Categories of Trade Marks:

There are provisions for the registration of SERVICE MARKS and COLLECTIVE MARKS.
There are no provisions for the registration of DEFENSIVE MARKS or SERIES MARKS.

Classification:

The International Classification of goods and services applies.
An application may cover more than one class of goods or services (additional fees being payable in respect of the fourth and each subsequent class) but goods and services cannot both be covered in the same application.

Documents required:

A. New Applications

  • Power of Attorney, simply signed.
  • Ten prints, even for word marks in ordinary type
  • Priority document (if applicable), with verified French or English translation

B. Renewals

  • Power of attorney, simply signed.
  • Simple copy of last Certificate of Renewal (if applicable)

C. Assignments/Mergers

  • Power of Attorney, simply signed.
  • In the case of an assignment, Deed of Assignment drawn by and signed by both parties before a Notary Public, with verified French or English translation
  • In the case of a merger, Certificate of Merger, with verified French or English translation

D. Change of Name

  • Power of Attorney, simply signed.
  • Certificate of Change of Name, with verified French or English translation

E. Change of Address

  • Power of Attorney, simply signed.

F. Licences/Registered Users

  • Powers of Attorney, simply signed from proprietor and licensee
  • Licence Agreement which should be drawn by and signed by both parties before a Notary Public, with verified French or English translation

    *Effective date 25 May 2013. Unless a registration filed before this date is specifically extended to cover the Comoros, it will not do so until its next renewal.

    Note: Mayotte is not part of the Union of the Comoros; it is a French overseas "département" and is therefore covered by French trade mark registration.

Please contact us for further information.