Intellectual Property

Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs


The OAPI (Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle) member-states include the majority of the African French speaking countries. The Bangui Agreement encourages cooperation between all the member-states by sharing common objectives in Intellectual Property matters. OAPI is a regional filing system which covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. A single application automatically covers all countries mentioned above. It is not possible to designate the countries of interest. OAPI is also a member of the Paris Union and the Madrid Protocol (although the latter is not yet effective).

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of Intellectual Property services in all African countries where protection is available. Our attorneys provide services for the filing of IP in each of the African countries and various regional IP organisations such as OAPI. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ needs for trademarks, designs and patents in Africa.

Trademark Attorneys, Trademark Registration, Trademarks

OAPI is a member of the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty designed to simplify the international trademark registration process. Using this process, registrants are able to complete a single application, in their home language, that can then be applied to over 90 member countries.

OAPI Patents & Designs

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.

Patent Attorneys, Patent Registration, Patents

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