African Intellectual Property Organization(known as OAPI ), taking French as the official language, is a regional alliance to protect intellectual property. Its headquarter locates in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.
There are 17 member states, including Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Equatorial Guinea, and Comoros.
Benefits of African IP Trademark Registration
The international registration of African Intellectual Property has the features of low price, simple and reliable application procedures, compared to registration in one country.
1 Trademark Enquiry (optional)
2 Submission of Application
3 Notice of Acceptance
4 Registration Announcement
5 Issuance of Registration Certificate
Documents Required for Application:
Subject qualification certificate of the applicant
Name of the protected categories and goods/service
Electronic pattern of the trademark
Name and address of the applicant in both Chinese and English
Power of Attorney
OAPI trademarks are registered first and then published. The publicity period of the registration lasts for 6 months. If there is no opposition during this period, the registered trademark is valid. However, if the opposition is justified, the registered trademark will be dissolved.
The member states of OAPI are completely organized by this organization, without independent trademark systems. Thus, it is impossible to register a trademark country by country. The trademark can only be registered through OAPI.
In March 2015, OAPI officially joined Madrid Protocol, becoming the 93th Contracting Party of Madrid system. Thus, applicants can apply to register OAPI trademarks through Madrid system, which provides brand owners with faster and cheaper access to seek for international brand protection in West-African countries.