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Intellectual Property

Africa
Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

OAPI Patents

OAPI is a signatory of the PCT. The Patent Cooperation Treaty ensures that by filing one international patent application, that applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in other PCT member countries. A PCT National Phase entry provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications in each of its contracting states.

OAPI is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trademarks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their Intellectual Property is protected in other countries.

Patents

Types of Patents:

  • Patents of Invention
  • National Phase PCT Application

Filing Requirements:

Non-PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English or French translation (required upon filing)
  • Deed of assignment (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable) with verified English or French translation (must be filed within 6 months of the filing date)

PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English or French translation (required upon filing)
  • Deed of assignment (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Published International application (required upon filing)
  • International Search Report and International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed)

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required.

Patentability:  

Methods of medical diagnosis, treatment or surgery are not patentable.

Examination: 

Formal examination.                                   

Patent Duration / Renewals:

The patent has a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are payable from the first anniversary of the filing date.

International and Regional Systems: 

  • Paris Convention
  • PCT

Designs

Types of Designs:  

  • Industrial Designs

Design Filing Requirements:

  • Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Drawings, photographs or other graphic representations of the design (required upon filing)
  • A statement indicating the kind of products for which the design is to be used (required upon filing)
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable) (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Verified translation of the priority document if not filed in English or French (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Deed of assignment (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)

Design Duration / Renewals:

The design has an initial term of 5 years from date of filing, with a possible extension of 2 further term of 5 years.

International and Regional Systems: 

  • Paris Convention
  • The Hague Agreement

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