News & insights

Comoros Island: Accession to OAPI

June 3, 2013

Comoros Island (CI) officially endorsed the Bangui Agreement which forms the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). Effective May 25, 2013, the country will accede to the OAPI becoming its 17th Member State. Member States from the OAPI include:  Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville),  Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The salient features of the OAPI trademark protection system are as follows:

Filing Requirements
1. Power of attorney, simply signed. A separate power is required for each application.
2. Copy of priority document, if priority is claimed, with verified French or English translation.
3. 10 prints of the mark for each application.

Items 1 and 3 must be submitted at the time of filing. Document 2 may be submitted within 3 months from filing date.

Opposition
Registrations are published in the Official Gazette. Oppositions may be filed within 6 months from publication date.

Protection Term
Trademark registrations are valid for 10 years from filing date and are renewable for like periods.
Documents required for renewal: Power of attorney, simply signed.

Use Requirements
Use of a trademark is not required for registration or renewal of a mark. However, a trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years preceding the date of filing for cancellation.

Assignment
Trademark rights may be assigned with or without the goodwill of the business concerned.
Documents required: Power of attorney from the assignee, simply signed; and original or certified copy of deed of assignment.

Change of Name/Address
Documents required: Power of attorney, simply signed; and certificate of change of name, simply signed with verified French or English translation. For a change of address, only a power of attorney, simply signed is required.

Licensing
License recordal is compulsory in order to be effective against third parties.
Documents required: Power of attorney, simply signed; and original or certified copy of license agreement.

Merger
Documents required: Power of attorney, simply signed; and original or certified copy of certificate of merger.

Marking 
Marking is optional.

Registration Time Frame
The time frame for completing the registration process is 8 to 12 months.

Should you have any questions, or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@sabaip.com