The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) is a central regional registration system comprised of seventeen (17) Member States. They are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Union of the Comoros [comprising the islands of Grand Comore (Ngazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), and Mohéli (Mwali)].

Although most of the members are from French speaking African States, membership is not limited on the basis of language, but it is open to all African States which are members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and/ or members of the Organization of African Unity.

OAPI was established under the Bangui Accord. It operates under a common system of protection of intellectual property, which is characterized, by uniform legislation and procedures for registration and administration of intellectual property. The Bangui Accord enables the user to have their rights protected in all member states through a single deposit which is considered as a national deposit for each member state. Following the registration of the mark, enforcement of rights through the national court system in each State where the protection is desired.

The headquarters for OAPI is Yaounde, Cameroun.

N.B. The above information has been extracted from the OAPI Bulletin. For further details you may contact us or OAPI at their web site.