OAPI Patent Applications

A single OAPI application covers all member countries.

(Unlike ARIPO where the applicant should choose the specific member states where protection is required)

Please note that OAPI is unique in that its member countries have renounced their national sovereignty to convey to the patentee a single title of protection valid in each country.  Hence designation of countries is not required, i.e. filing into OAPI allows for a single application to be enforced in 17 countries throughout Africa.

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 Patent Filing Requirements

Power of Attorney 
Must be filed within 3 months of the date of filing. 

Specification, claims, drawings and abstract 
Required upon filing. The documents may be filed in English or French. 

Deed of Assignment 
Must be filed within 3 months of the filing date. 

Priority Document 
(if applicable), together with a verified English or French translation. Must be filed within 6 months of the filing date.

Deadlines
30 months from earliest priority date for entering regional phase under PCT. 

Examination
Formal examination. 

Claim fees
Excessive surcharges are payable for each claim over 10 and additional pages of the specification over 10. 

Duration 
The patent has a duration of 20 years from date of filing or the PCT International filing date, with no possible extensions. 

Maintenance fees/Renewal fees
Annual maintenance fees are payable in advance, calculated from the first anniversary of the filing date or from the PCT International filing date.  Maintenance fees for years one and two are payable upon filing the application.  There is a 6-month grace period to pay the maintenance fees.

Patent protection is only obtainable through OAPI for the member states listed below.

All member states are included in a patent application:

Benin
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Ivory Coast
Mali
Mauritania
Niger
Senegal
Togo.