South Africa: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND FILING REQUIREMENTS
The Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle or OAPI(English: African Intellectual Property Organization or AIPO) is a union of seventeen French speaking African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
1. A Trademark Registration in OAPI is valid for 10 years from the filing date of the application and thereafter the registration can be renewed for another 10 years upon payment of required fee.
2. Renewal of a trademark registration can be done as long as the proprietor of the mark wants to protect it.
3. Trademark Search is not mandatory before filing under OAPI, however, strongly recommended so as to ascertain the possibility of acceptance of a mark upon examination.
4. The members of OAPI have consolidated their Intellectual Property Laws and hence it is no longer possible to file a trademark application in individual countries party to OAPI.
5. Multiple class registration is possible.
1. Graphical representation of the trademark i.e. device or logo etc. Further graphical representation for a simple word mark is not required.
2. A full range of goods or services covered or proposed to be covered by the trademark application. As per the current system in force, product and service marks are object of distinct applications.
3. A priority document in case a priority is being claimed. A certified translation of the document is required in case the document is in a language other than English or French.
4. The name, nationality and the complete address of the applicant (for both natural or legal person).
5. A simple signed Power of Attorney in English or French duly signed by the applicant or by an authorised signatory on behalf of the applicant, in case the applicant is a company (i.e. legal person). No legalization or notarization of the document is required.
6. The document mentioned in item no. 5 should be furnished within 30 days from the filing of the application at OAPI.
7. The opposition period is 6 months from the publication date of the trademark in the Official Gazette.
8. If a trademark has not been used in at least one of the member states within 5 years from registration or has later not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, it may be subject to cancellation at the request of any interested party.