Rouse Africa Attends OAPI Training in Yaounde, Cameroon

Earlier this year, Rouse Africa’s Oswald Alembong attended the intermediate training course (formation intermédiaire en Propriété Intellectuelle) launched by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) at the Intellectual Property Academy Denis Ekani (APIDE) in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

OAPI has a regional filing system covering mostly West-African French-speaking countries namely Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. One application covers all member states and it is not possible to obtain national registrations in the member states other than by way of an OAPI application.

The intermediate training course was launched by the outgoing Director General, Dr Paulin Edou and ran from 17 July 2017 to 11 August 2017. This year Sixteen candidates attended the very detailed and comprehensive lectures that included how intellectual property is organized in the OAPI region and the rest of the world, the Structure Nationale de Liaison (OAPI’s local offices) in each of the member states as well as the relevant IP legislation and practical procedures for OAPI agents.

At the end of the course there was a ceremony in which Mr Dénis Loukou Bohoussou, the current Director General of OAPI, and other OAPI personnel handed certificates of participation to the candidates.

The environment at OAPI is very formal and courteous and many of the OAPI personnel are knowledgeable and skilled in their various areas of specialization. However,  the efficiency of OAPI is let down by the fact that there are still very few OAPI staff totaling to around 114  personnel as of March 2017.

For more information on OAPI and filing trade marks through this regional IP system, please contact Rouse Africa.