Patenting in Africa


Werner Van Der Merwe

Patent rights are territorial and a patent for an invention has to be obtained in each state or region where patent protection is required.

The African continent has more than 50 states and an inventor may be hesitant to patent an invention in all of these states considering the high cost.

Fortunately, however, Africa has two multinational organisations for the protection of intellectual property rights. Collectively, these organisations represent more than 60 percent of African states.

The first of these organisations is the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI). OAPI was established by the Bangui Agreement Relating to the Creation of an African Intellectual Property Organisation on March 2, 1997.

Patent rights, Africa