Our trademark department consists of a team of skilled and qualified trademark attorneys and paralegals who work closely with our clients to provide trademark registration in Africa and to structure the best bespoke trade mark filing programs suited to the client’s specific needs and requirements. We offer advice on all aspects of trademark filing, prosecution and litigation across the African continent. The Nice classification assists in filing a trademark application for the correct goods and/or services as it is an international standard for the classification of goods and/or services. There is a total of 45 classes (34 goods classes and 11 service classes). The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty designed to simplify the international trade mark 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. There are 38 African countries that are currently Madrid members.
The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) member-states include the majority of 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).
ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation) is an organisation that facilitates registration and administration of intellectual property rights for various African countries. Membership of the organization is open to all Member States of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). As of 31 December 2020, ARIPO was comprised of 20 Member States. The ARIPO registry is located in Harare, Zimbabwe. 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. ARIPO is mandated to register marks and the administration of such registered marks on behalf of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of the Banjul Protocol on Marks.