OAPI is the African Intellectual Property Organisation for French-speaking Africa. The member countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. Please note that it is not possible to obtain protection in any of these countries other than by way of an OAPI application.
OAPI is a member of the International Convention.
The requirements for filing a design application in OAPI are as follows:
a. Power of Attorney (simply signed) - can be late filed after notification;
b. 3 sets of formal drawings - required on the day of filing;
c. Certified priority document with sworn and verified English or French translation, see notes below - can be late filed within 3 months.
With respect to item (c) above, the translation of the priority document must be accompanied by a signed declaration of the official translator which also carries a stamp or a seal. In the event that the translator does not have a stamp or a seal, notarised translations have in the past been accepted by OAPI.
An OAPI application automatically designates all member states. The cost of filing an OAPI design application is between about US$ 2300.00 and US$ 2500.00. To the above must be added a charge of about US$ 260.00 per Convention claim to priority.
Furthermore, it is possible to file a single application covering up to 100 variants of a design which belong to the same class of international application or the same range of articles. Surcharges of about US$ 300.00 for the first variant plus US$ 75.00 for each additional variant will then be applicable.