Some significant changes will be taking place at the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI), the IP regional organization for mostly Francophone West African countries. This follows the upcoming ratification in 2020 of the Revised Bangui Agreement of 14 December 2015.

Among the major changes are:

  • Substantive examination will begin in 2021 for trade marks and in 2022 for patents.
  • There will now be two types of publication: publication of the application and publication of the registration.
  • Opposition will now take place after publication of the application.
  • Sound marks will be allowed

The 17 member states of the OAPI are: Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroun; Central African Republic; Comoros; Republic of Congo (‘Congo Brazaville’); Côte d’Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Guinea; Guinea Bissau; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Senegal; Chad and Togo. An OAPI trade mark or patent covers all 17 member states.

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