Is there a trade mark for Africa?

On the back of last month’s article regarding the new .africa domain name registration, we received many enquiries about protecting a brand/trademark in Africa under one application.

Unfortunately, there is no bulk or single trademark registration that will cover the entire African continent.

There are two systems available for protecting a trade mark in numerous countries across Africa, O.A.P.I and ARIPO.

1. The O.A.P.I application will provide you protection in the following
17 member countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central
African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea,
Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal,
Union of the Comoros and Togo.

2. The ARIPO trade mark covers Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana,
Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone,
Liberia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Somalia, Sudan,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The cost advantage of registering through these two regional trademark systems is hugely beneficial as compared to registering individual trademarks in each country.

Many of our clients have registered their trademarks through these systems, even if they do not operate in each of these countries as they may in the future extend their products and/or services to those territories.

Please feel free to contact Moore Attorneys to find out the costs of an OAPI or ARIPO trademark application.