Region Specific Info-Africa
Africa Filing Requirements
Africa is the world’s second largest continent. It covers approximately 30 million square kilometres (12 million square miles) – about one-fifth of the earth’s land area. If one includes the surrounding islands, there are almost 60 territories with a population of approximately 800 million. The African continent has become a focal point for expansion. Many of our clients offer their services, or export their products, to a number of different countries in Africa.
Travelling through Africa one notices that increasing numbers of brands and products are available. However with expansion comes the possibility of competition and imitation and it is therefore crucial to ensure that intellectual property is adequately protected in this region.
There are almost 60 countries in Africa. Most have their own national intellectual property laws, which traditionally have been modelled on the intellectual property laws of their former colonizing powers, in particular the United Kingdom, France and Portugal. In addition to this, there are two multi-national IP organizations in Africa, namely OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organisation) and ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation).
Having worked with these systems for many years, Spoor & Fisher has gained extensive knowledge and practical experience of each different legal system and structure. It is therefore ideally placed to assist clients in protecting their patents, trade marks, designs, utility models, plant breeders rights and other intellectual property rights, throughout Africa.
Spoor & Fisher deals directly with local Trade Mark and Patent Registries wherever possible. To this end it has its own offices in several African countries. Elsewhere, it has an extensive network of local employees and other long-established contacts spread across the continent.
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