In order to facilitate and reduce the prices of patent processing in the Francophone African countries, there is an international treaty ratified by the following 16 states:
- Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Gabon, Chad, Guinea, Togo.
Main features of OAPI Patent registration
Patents prosecution by this treaty is managed by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) who is responsible for receiving the application, doing a substantive and formal examination and its granting or denial.
The African Intellectual Property Organization distinguishes two types of inventions:
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Therefore, using the African Intellectual Property Organization to provide protection for an invention in these areas implies the unification of processing and consequently the process is easier and costs are reduced.
It is worth noting that patents processed in OAPI are subject to annuity payments from the 2nd year of the application.