Trademark Registration Procedure in OAPI
Upon receipt of your instructions, we prepare and provide you with a POA (power of attorney) for execution, and in due course file the application at OAPI.
After filing, we provide you with a provisional filing receipt which is the copy of the filing request deposited at OAPI bearing the OAPI official date stamp on it.
Within three months from filing, OAPI issues the official filing receipt bearing the application date and number – we scan and send you a copy of this for your records.
OAPI proceeds with the examination of the application.
If there are no problems during the examination stage, OAPI will proceed with the registration of the trademark, issuance of the certificate, and publication in the OAPI Official bulletin.
Interested parties have 06 months from publication date to initiate opposition action against a registered trademark at OAPI.
A registration certificate is issued during a minimum of 15 months. The issuance will also depend on when required documents such as the POA are filed, and whether official actions issued by OAPI are attended to promptly.
Official Trademark Office in OAPI
The OAPI states are a union of French-speaking African countries. Occasionally, OAPI is mentioned as AIPO (African Intellectual Property Organization), not to be confused with ARIPO.
OAPI stands for "Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle," which is translated in English to "African Intellectual Property Organization." It is an intergovernmental organization based in Yaoundé, Cameroon that manages and administers intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, patents, and industrial designs, for its member states. The organization was established in 1977 and currently has 17 trademark members states, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
Member states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
The Trademark Office applies the current version of the Nice Classification, you can find acceptable goods and services.
OAPI Trademark Search
To search trademarks within the OAPI, you can use the online database provided on our website. However, you can request it on the website of the OAPI (please note it's in French). At the current date, in January 2023, the search was not available.
- Go to the OAPI website (www.oapi.int) and select the "Trademarks" tab.
- Click on the "Trademark Search" button.
- You will be directed to a search page where you can enter the name of the trademark you are searching for. You can also filter your search by class, registration number, and status.
- Click on the "Search" button to view the results of your search.
You can view the details of the trademark by clicking on the registration number. The details will include the mark, class, and status of the trademark.
It's worth noting that the OAPI trademark search database is only available in French, so if you don't speak the language it might be difficult to navigate. Additionally, the database is not updated in real time, so it's possible that the information you find might be outdated.
How to Register a trademark in the OAPI
Fill out our simple online form in just 5 minutes and a Trademark Specialist will contact you within 24 hours in order to guide you through the process. Note, that if your trademark is applied both for goods (classes from 1 to 34) and services (classes from 35 to 45) it will have to be filed in 2 separate applications. At the same time, one application in OAPI may contain more than one class of products or services respectively.
Here are the general steps to apply for a trademark registration in the OAPI:
- Choose a trademark: Choose a distinctive and unique trademark that is not similar to any existing trademarks in the OAPI database.
- Choose the classes: Identify the classes of goods and services that your trademark will be used in.
- File a trademark application: File a trademark application with the OAPI. The application must include the following documents:
- The application form
- A representation of the trademark
- A list of goods and services
- The power of attorney
- The payment of the fee
- Examination: After filing, the application will be examined by the OAPI to ensure that it meets the legal requirements and that it is not similar to existing trademarks.
- Publication: If the application is accepted, it will be published in the Official Gazette of the OAPI for opposition purposes. This is a period of time during which any person can oppose the registration of the trademark.
- Registration: If there is no opposition, or if the opposition is unsuccessful, the trademark will be registered and the registration certificate will be issued.
It's worth noting that the process of trademark registration in OAPI can take up to 18 months, and it is recommended to be assisted by a professional in the field, such as a trademark attorney, to ensure the process is done correctly and all the requirements are met.
What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf. The person giving the authority is known as the "principal," and the person who is given the authority is known as the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact."
In the context of trademark registration, a POA is used to authorize a trademark attorney or agent to file and prosecute the trademark application on behalf of the applicant. This is required in some countries, including OAPI, to show that the applicant has authorized someone else to act on their behalf with regard to the trademark application.
What is registrable as a trademark?
Registrable as a trademark is any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods and services of any enterprise. The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks, and collective marks.
What will be required to file your brand in OAPI?
- Type of the applicant: individual or a company.
- Complete name of the owner. Full address of the owner.
- Phone number - to contact you in case if any action is required.
- Mailing address - to forward you the certificate once the trademark is registered.
- List of goods/services.
- Class or classes.
- Trademark itself.
- Power of attorney (non-legalised).
Trademark registration is valid for 10 years starting from the filing date. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years. If the trademark has not been in use within 5 years from registration, it may be subject to cancellation at the appeal of any interested party. Use in one member state is sufficient to satisfy the use requirement for all member countries.
Extensive Search & Study
Available online, you can request a free trademark search online on our website or here:
The Trademark Database contains registered and filed trademarks in OAPI. However, we recommend ordering a trademark study as such will allow you to check the probability of registration of your trademark in OAPI, calculated by an experienced attorney.
Trademark Application Fees
The official fee is approx. EUR 610.00 for up to three classes, EUR 125.00 for each additional class. For a coloured trademark, an official fee of approx. EUR 75.00 is added.
The fees are 100% included in our prices.
Trademark Registration Fees
Our fees (28th of August, 2023):
- Trademark Search in one class: 159 USD
- Additional class: 159 USD
- Trademark Registration Request in one class: 1399 USD
- Additional class: 349 USD
Our fees include the official and legal fees.
We offer the following services in OAPI:
- Trademark Search (wordmark only)
- Trademark Registration
- Trademark renewal
- Trademark oppositions
- Defenses in case of oppositions or objections/office actions in OAPI
- Trademark assignment
- Change of name/Change of Address
If you are interested in any of the above-mentioned services, please do not hesitate to contact us.
🌎 Trademark Renewals in OAPI
A trademark is renewable for a period of 10 years and valid from the filing date.
- A mark can be renewed within 12 months before the expiration of the current trademark registration.
- In OAPI we will require a simply signed Power of Attorney in order to start the process. We will prepare the document for you.
- The process takes approximately 7-9 months, and a Renewal Certificate is issued.
Trademark renewal in OAPI price (Aug 2023)
The price is 1399$ for one class, with trademark certificate delivery. The government fee is included in the price, 500$ per extra class
Trademark renewal process
Please contact us using the following form in order to request a trademark renewal in OAPI. The process is rather simple, our attorney will become your representative and will pay the renewal fee.
What if the deadline is missed?
After the expiration date, a grace period of 6 months is provided to the registrant to renew the trademark paying an extra grace period renewal fee.
After the end of the grace period, the owner or entitled persons may apply for its restoration, on payment of the requisite renewal fee and of a surcharge whose amount shall be fixed by regulation, within six months of the date on which the circumstances ceased to exist, and no later than two years from the date on which renewal was due.
- Filing date: 01.09.2019
- Registration date: 01.09.2021
- Expiration date: 01.09.2029
- The earliest date for filing a renewal: 01.09.2028
- Grace period starts and ends: 01.09.2029-01.03.2030
Please be informed that the dates are determined to the best of our knowledge and we take no responsibility if the calculations are incorrect. We recommend that you contact us with an actual case in order to determine the renewal date with the highest accuracy possible.