OAPI, the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle, is a union of 16 predominantly French-speaking countries which was formed when the former Libreville Accord (concluded in 1962 by 12 countries) was revised in Bangui in 1977 and the Bangui Agreement was concluded.  The Accords of Libreville and Bangui established common intellectual property laws and a single Intellectual Property Office, situated at Yaoundé, Cameroon, to have effect in all member countries.  

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)


Single/Multi-Class Jurisdiction

A single application may include several classes. However, the same application may not include both goods and services.

Can services be registered

Provides for the protection of trademarks, including service marks

Can priority be claimed

Convention priority may be claimed under the Paris Convention on the basis of an earlier application filed in a convention country not more than six months prior to the OAPI application.

Is the International Classification

The International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Agreement) is applied. 

Documentation required to file
  1. Full particulars of the applicant
  2. Power of attorney, in French or English* (simply signed; not in black ink)
  3. Reproduction of the mark; an electronic reproduction of the mark may be used
  4. list of the goods or services to which the mark is to apply
  5. Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable).

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

The filing of a collective mark must include the ministerial decision determining the conditions of use.

Any interested party may oppose the registration of a trade mark within six months from the publication date. 


Renewal due

A trade mark registration is effective for a period of 10 years from the date of application for registration and may be renewed for consecutive periods of 10 years upon payment of the renewal fees and if the trade mark owner can prove that he is using the trade mark within the national territory of one of the member States, or is causing it to be used by means of a licence. A six months grace period is allowed for the late payment of the renewal fees.

Proof of use due

None due 

Documents required to file proof of use

Use depends on the national law of each country.

Can be struck off for non-use

A registered trade mark may be cancelled if it has not been used within the national territory of any one of the member states for a continuous period of five years from the date of registration, except where the registered owner has legitimate reasons for such non-use.

Countries of Representation and IP Information