WESTERN SAHARA

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Patent

Western Sahara is a member of the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) and it is not possible to file a patent application nationally in Western Sahara

Paris Convention;

ARIPO (Harare Protocol);

PCT; and

WTO/TRIPS.

Patents for inventions;

Divisional patents; and

Utility certificates (for inventions that are new and industrially applicable).

Absolute novelty applies.

A twelve-month grace period is provided for.

Patent applications are examined as to compliance with formal requirements.  A national patent application may be subjected to substantive examination (upon request by the Registrar).  An ARIPO patent is examined by the ARIPO Patent Office, prior to entering Uganda.

A patent has an initial term of 15 years, but may be extended by a further five-year period on payment of renewal fees and proof that the invention is being worked in Uganda.

Maintenance fees are calculated from the first anniversary of the filing date but become payable upon grant of a patent. Thereafter maintenance fees are due upon the anniversary of the filing date. A six months grace period is provided for payment of renewal fees, subject to payment of surcharges. If a renewal fee is not paid within this period, the patent lapses.

If a patent is not worked, a compulsory licence may be granted due to non-working of the patent.