COUNTRY : REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
CAPITAL : KINSHASA
LANGUAGE : FRENCH
The African Intellectual Property Organisation known commonly by it’s French Acronym (OAPI) was established through the Bangui Agreement at the Republic of Central Africa and is head quartered at Yaounde, Cameroon.
OAPI is a comity of 16 Former French Colonies which are also French speaking Countries.
Member Countries are Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo, Equatorial Guinea.
Protection to Design is provided at a two tier level in Congo-OAPI:
OAPI DESIGN REGISTRATION
Kindly refer our guide under the OAPI Design Registration.
INTERNATIONAL DESIGN PROTECTION UNDER HAGUE SYSTEM
Kindly refer our guide under the Hague system.
However member nations of the OAPI have retained significant portions of the legal systems of the countries that colonised them.
However, legal questions regarding infringement and IP matters requiring litigation are to be settled by domestic courts of each state.
Member nations recognise the provisions entrenched in the Bangui Agreement and its annexes as their national law. Hence, OAPI allows applicants to receive patent & Design protection in all of the 16 jurisdictions with a single application and registration. Therefore, Registration in individual member nations, is no longer possible.
Certification by the OPAI automatically protects designs in all the 16 member countries.