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Patent Filing in OAPI

OAPI or the African Union and sometimes known as the African Intellectual Property Organization.

OAPI member states Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo (16 States).

OAPI contracting countries may be designated as a Paris Convention country and as a member of PCT not all of the OAPI member countries are in themselves members of PCT. From this it follows that any PCT application filed will only, when granted, extend to PCT member countries of the Union.

Term of patent: 20 years from the date of filing Patent Office: OAPI Patent Office


Paradigm to obtain a patent in OAPI:-
  • Filing of patent application
  • Preliminary examination before publication
  • Publication of the application
  • Formal examination can be requested at any time within three years from the date of filing.
  • Compliance with the examiners office action within the given time
  • Acceptance (Notice of Allowance) or rejection.
  • Payment of the Issue Fees.


Documents required for filing of Patent Application in OAPI

1. PCT National Phase patent filing

  • WIPO publication
  • International search report
  • International preliminary examination report (chapter II)
  • Power of Attorney

2.Conventional patent Filing

  • complete specification
  • formal drawing, if any
  • certified copy of the priority document
  • English translation of the specification or priority documents
  • Power of Attorney
  • Timeline for national phase entry in OAPI is 30 months
  • Timeline for conventional filing is 12 months from date of priority