ORGANISATION AFRICAINE DE LA PROPRIÉTÉ INTELLECTUELLE (OAPI)
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Trade Mark Services & Trade Mark Lawyers
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OAPI is an African regional intellectual property system which provides for a central office, situated in Yaoundé, Cameroon, responsible for the grant or registration, and management, of various forms of intellectual property. It is neither necessary nor possible for an applicant to designate individual contracting states when filing an OAPI application, as it automatically extends to all contracting states as at the time of filing the application.
OAPI is a party to the Madrid System for International Registration of trade marks and the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property and it is possible to claim priority under the Paris Convention.
Although OAPI is a member of the Madrid System, it has not amended its governing legislation required to give effect to the Madrid System and it is therefore questionable whether international registrations designating OAPI are actually enforceable in its member states.
OAPI follows a multi-class filing system in terms of the 9th edition of the Nice Classification.
The total time from filing to registration is approximately 12 months. Trade mark applications are examined for compliance with formal requirements only and are published in the official gazette after acceptance. There is no procedure for opposition of trade mark applications in OAPI.
Well-known trade marks in terms of the Paris Convention are recognised in OAPI.
Trade mark registrations are valid for 10 years from the date of filing and may be renewed indefinitely for 10-year periods thereafter.
A registered trade mark may be cancelled on action by an interested party if it has not been used for a continuous period of 5 years after the date of registration.
Customs recordals are not possible.