OAPI, (Organisation Africaine de la Propiete Intellectuelle) is the regional intellectual property body managing all IP-related applications into predominantly francophone African nations. Filing into OAPI allows for a single application to be enforced in 17 countries throughout Africa. The countries that are members to OAPI are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, and Togo.
Patents can be filed in OAPI out of a provisional patent application and out of a PCT, as all OAPI member nations are members to the PCT and the International Convention.
When filing an application out of PCT, the deadline is 30 months from the first priority date.
When filing out of PCT, the following documents are required at the time of filing:
- Specification (MS Word format)
- Claims and Abstract in English
- Formal drawings
- International Publication
The formal filing requirements that need to be submitted within 3 months of the filing of the application (if not filed at the time of filing) are:
- Original executed Power of Attorney. An original executed General Power of Attorney may be filed in OAPI.
- Certified Deed of Assignment Document/s.
Additional documents that need to be filed, but can be filed at any time with no set deadline are:
- Copy of International Search Report
- Copy of International Preliminary Report on Patentability
If any of these documents except for the Power of Attorney and Assignment documents are available on WIPO, then it is not necessary to provide the documents for filing as they can be retrieved from the WIPO website.
When filing in OAPI out of a provisional patent application, the deadline for filing is 12 months from the filing of the provisional patent application.
The filing requirements for filing out of a provisional patent application are:
To be filed at the time of filing the application:
- Specification in MS Word format in English
- Claims in MS Word Format in English
- Abstract in English
To be filed within 6 months of filing the application:
- An original executed Power of Attorney
- Assignment of Invention
- Priority Document in English