TRADE MARK REGISTRATION IN OAPI
OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organization) encompasses the majority of African French-speaking countries. The most distinctive characteristic and advantage of OAPI is that a single trade mark registration is automatically effective in all its member states, without the possibility of designating individual member states. Member states do not have national Intellectual Property Laws.
OAPI provides a centralized system for Trade mark registration requiring the filing of an application directly to OAPI in order to obtain trade mark protection in its member Countries. A Patent Attorney in Nigeria from Tejuso can assist you regarding the proceesings.
OAPI currently comprises the following 17 countries:
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.
You can also read: COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN NIGERIA (IV)
To file an application to register a trade mark in OAPI the following documents/details are required:
1) Name of owner (if a moral person indicate corporate form);
2) Full address of the owner;
3) Nationality of the owner;
4) Specification of goods/services;
5) 10 representations of the trademark, this is not required for a word mark.
6) Classes of goods/services. It should be noted that in the OAPI system, goods and services marks must be filed in separate applications.
7) Priority claim and priority document (if any);
8) Colour claim (if any);
9) Assignment of priority right (if any);
10) Power of Attorney (notarization not required). This can be filed after the filing of the applications.
Once your trade mark is registered you must use the mark in OAPI within 5 years otherwise an application for cancellation of the mark for non-use can be made and if successful the mark will be deregistered.
Registration of a trade mark in OAPI lasts for 10 years from the date of the filing of the application and must be renewed every 10 years thereafter. There is a grace period of 6 months within which an application for late renewal of the trade mark can be made subject to the payment of renewal fees and a surcharge, but make sure to hire an Intellectual Property Rights Lawyer.