“Respect for inventors is the key to success of a patent system.” ― Kalyan C. Kankanala


  1. In Africa, there are two regional bodies in which to file patent and trade mark applications, namely OAPI (oapi.int) and ARIPO (www.aripo.org). South Africa and Nigeria, who each has its own patent office, are not party to either of the regional organisations.  We file patent and trade mark applications in OAPI and ARIPO through a network of dedicated agents.


2. The OAPI (Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle, or in English: African Intellectual Property Organization) is an intellectual property organization, headquartered in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

3. OAPI has the following 17 member states, which are mostly French-speaking countries:


 Benin  Burkina Faso
 Cameroon  Central African Republic
 Chad  Congo
 Ivory Coast  Equatorial Guinea
 Gabon  Guinea
 Guinea-Bissau Mali
 Mauritania  Niger
 Senegal  Togo

  1. All member states are automatically covered in an OAPI patent application – It is not possible to select only some member states. After grant, an OAPI patent is automatically effective in each member state.


5. A single renewal fee is paid for all OAPI member states.

6. There is no post-grant validation procedure.

7. The following minimum requirements must be met to secure a valid filing date in respect of an OAPI national phase patent application out of a PCT application:

    • Specification, claims and abstract in English (MS Word format)
    • Drawings
    • International Publication number
    • International Patent Classification


8. The following additional documents are required to complete the filing requirements:


Within 3 months of the national filing date ·     Original executed Power of Attorney
  ·     Certified Deed of Assignment, if a copy of the Deed of Assignment was not lodged with WIPO
  ·     Certified copy of priority document (if not lodged with WIPO)
Filed at any time after the national filing date ·     International Search Report and Written Opinion
  ·     International Preliminary Report on Patentability

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