AFRICAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION – CHANGES IN THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION
The OAPI is the centralised IP registration system under the said organisation. The organisation was created by Bangui Agreement of March 2, 1977, and the Bangui Agreement was subsequently amended in 1999. The seventeen (17) Member States of OAPI are mostly French speaking countries which are as follows:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Comoros Island, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
As per the new circular issued by the African Intellectual Property Organisation dated 23 September, 2013, the issuance of certificates of registration for patents, trademarks utility models, industrial designs, commercial names, geographical indication and plant variety shall be streamlined in the form of a certificate signed, sealed and delivered by the Director General of the Organisation. The registration certificates will have a new look and style. It is widely believed that the new system will facilitate the process of issuance of registration certificates and reduce the delays in issuing the certificates.