OAPI member countries have renounced their national IP laws since an OAPI registration will provide the patentee with a single title of protection valid in each OAPI member country. Designation of countries is not required as all 16 member countries are automatically included when an OAPI patent application is filed.

Benin (since 1983)                                        Guinea (since 1990)
Burkina Faso (since 1983)                              Guinea Bissau (since 1998)
Cameroon (since 1982)                                  Ivory Coast (since 1982)
Central African Republic (since 1982)               Mali (since 1984)
Chad (since 1988)                                          Mauritania (since 1982)
Congo (since 1982)                                        Niger (since 1982)
Equatorial Guinea (since 2000)                        Senegal (since 1982)
Gabon (since 1982)                                        Togo (since 1982)

Member of PCT


Can priority be claimed

Since the OAPI member states are also members of the Paris Convention, convention priority can be claimed from an earlier application in another convention country, provided the application is filed within 12 months of the priority application

Novelty requirement

Absolute novelty is required

Required Documents
  1. Full particulars of the applicant
  2. Power of attorney (simply signed)
  3. Specification (including claims, drawings and abstract), in English or French*
  4. Sequence listings (where applicable)
  5. Priority document (if applicable)
  6. assignment of invention document (if applicable; simply signed)
  7. Assignment of priority document (if applicable; simply signed).

*    Note English and French are the working languages of OAPI. 


The duration of an OAPI patent is 20 years from the filing date.


A maintenance fee is due annually on the anniversary of the filing date. There is a 6-month grace period for late payment with a surcharge. 

Countries of Representation and IP Information