African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
The ARIPO trade mark system is governed by the Banjul Protocol on marks. 10 of the 19 ARIPO member states are members of the Banjul Protocol, namely Botswana, Liberia, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, São Tomé & Principe, Swaziland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
It is possible to designate any or all of the member states under a single trade mark application using the ARIPO system.
It is important to note that not all countries who are signatories to the Banjul Protocol have amended their national legislation to incorporate ARIPO enabling provisions and the enforceability of ARIPO registrations in the countries that have not yet done so are therefore questionable.
ARIPO follows a multi-class filing system and recognises both goods and services classes in terms of the 11th edition of the Nice Classification.
ARIPO applications are subject to formal examination by the ARIPO office and substantive examination by the Registry of each designated member state in accordance with its national laws.
ARIPO applications are published for opposition purposes in the ARIPO journal and are open to opposition for a period of 3 months from the date of publication. Oppositions are dealt with in accordance with the national laws of the designated member state in respect of which the opposition is raised.
Duration of Registration and Renewal
ARIPO Trade Mark registrations are valid for 10 years from the date of filing and may be renewed indefinitely for 10-year periods thereafter.