ARIPO is an intergovernmental organisation for English-speaking African countries to implement common administrative procedures deriving from a uniform system for the protection of intellectual property. The relevant protocol for ARIPO trademarks is the Banjul Protocol, which 9 States have acceded to: Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
ARIPO trademarks requires the applicant to choose the specific member states where protection is required (Unlike OAPI where a single application automatically covers all member states). ARIPO also features the Swakopmund Protocol on the protection of traditional knowledge.
To date only Botswana, Liberia and Zimbabwe have incorporated the provisions of ARIPO’s protocol on trademarks into their national legislation. As such, the validity of ARIPO trademarks in the remaining countries is unclear.
Filing Requirements for ARIPO Trademarks
Power of Attorney
Scanned copy of simply signed Power of Attorney. (no notarization or legalization required)
Details of the trademark(s)
Word mark or logo. If the trade mark is a logo, please send electronically. Details of colours claimed, if applicable.
Classes and list of goods and/or services
(try to limit to 5 items per application, additional charges apply for each additional item over 5)
Details of the applicant:
Full name. Nationality / country of incorporation. Physical address.
The official search is done by ARIPO and takes about 2 to 3 weeks. The usual timeframe from filing to registration is 24 to 36 months. After filing, when all filing requirements are complete, ARIPO will transmit the application to the designated countries(s) which must indicate acceptance or refusal of the application within 1 year from the transmission of the application.
Accepted applications will be published for a 3 months opposition period. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of application and renewable every 10 years.