A single OAPI application covers all member countries.
(Unlike ARIPO where the applicant should choose the specific member states where protection is required)
OAPI is a union of predominantly French-speaking countries with a single Intellectual Property Office that is situated at Cameroon, with common intellectual property laws effecting all member countries. OAPI is a member of the International Convention and PCT.
It’s 16 member states are mostly French-speaking countries, but the official languages of the organisation are French and English.
OAPI centralises all procedures for issuing industrial property rights such as patents and trade marks that are valid in all member countries. Deposits made with the administration of one of the Member States or the Organisation national filing in each Member State.
It is NOT possible to obtain national registrations in these countries. Designation of specific countries is NOT required.
There is no coexistence of national protection systems with the regional system. Penalties for infringement of industrial property rights are the responsibility of the courts of each Member State.
Final court decisions rendered on the validity of the securities in any of the Member States, are authorities in all other states, except those based on public order and morals.
The Bangui Agreement works as an Intellectual Property Act and its provisions have the effect of national law in each member-state. No validation or extension is required. OAPI is also a member of the Paris Union and PCT.
OAPI Member states:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo.