Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

ARIPO Patents

African Regional Intellectual Property Organization

Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property law firm specialises in Patent and PCT National Phase filings for ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization). The headquarters and administrative offices of ARIPO are located in Harare, Zimbabwe. ARIPO is an intergovernmental organisation for English-speaking African countries which implements common administrative procedures from a uniform system for the protection of intellectual property. ARIPO requires the applicant to choose the specific member states where protection is required. (Unlike OAPI where a single application automatically covers all member states). The relevant protocol for ARIPO patents is the Harare Protocol, which 18 States have acceded to. Read more about ARIPO Trademarks

Smit & Van Wyk is an Intellectual Property law firm in Africa which specialise in ARIPO patents, PCT applications and industrial designs. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ Intellectual Property needs in Africa. Our dedicated team of patent attorneys provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including:

  • Preparing and prosecuting patent and PCT applications.
  • Advising on the patentability of inventions.
  • Helping clients license, franchise or assign their rights.
  • Conducting patent searches.
  • Handling the payment of maintenance fees.
  • Recording amendments to a patent.
  • Translating patent specifications into local languages.
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PCT National Phase Applications

ARIPO is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The PCT National Phase entries provide a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application. A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application. The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

Paris Convention

ARIPO is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trade marks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trade marks and industrial designs to name a few.

Filing Requirements for ARIPO Patents

Patents of Invention (Non-PCT)
Power of Attorney (signed)
Specification, claims and abstract in English.
Drawings, if applicable.
International Patent Classification.
Assignment of Invention.
Priority document with verified English translation.

National Phase PCT Applications:
Power of Attorney (signed)
Specification, claims and abstract in English.
Drawings, if applicable.
International Patent Classification.
Copy of PCT International Publication (required on day of filing)
Copy of International Search Report.
Copy of International Preliminary Examination Report.

ARIPO is mandated to grant patents on behalf of the Harare Protocol Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of the Harare Protocol on Patents, Designs and Utility Models. The Harare Protocol was adopted on December 10, 1982 at Harare, Zimbabwe. The protocol entered into force in 1984.

ARIPO Members – Patents
Botswana, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania (mainland), Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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