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AP - African Regional Intellectual Property Organization
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

Useful information

The PCT Applicant’s Guide is updated almost every week with information received by the International Bureau.
In case of question, please contact the Office or the International Bureau (pct.guide@wipo.int).
List of abbreviations used in this document:
Office: African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
HP: Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the Framework of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) (Harare Protocol)
HR: Regulations for Implementing the Harare Protocol
HAI: Administrative Instructions under the Regulations for Implementing the Harare Protocol
List of currencies used in this document:
USD (US dollar)
Countries and Offices information:
The list of acronyms used for Offices is no longer shown as it has been integrated in the mouseover functionality for each ST.3 code shown in this document.
Refer to List of WIPO Standards, Recommendations and Guidelines formerly Annex K, List of country names and two-letter codes. It includes a list of short names and two-letter codes accepted for use in indicating States, other entities and intergovernmental organizations and their Offices in documents relating to international applications under the PCT. The list is as set out in WIPO Standard ST.3.
Also refer to PCT Contracting States formerly Annex A.
Office profile
For more technical information about the Office, refer to ePCT Office profile.
PCT Reservations, Declarations, Notifications and Incompatibilities
The Office does not have any reservations, declarations, notifications or incompatibilities.
Refer to the full list.
Office Closed dates
The Office is closed weekly on Saturday and Sunday
Additional closed dates can be consulted on the Office Closed dates page

International Phase

Annex B - Information on Contracting States or Intergovernmental Organization

Organization:
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization
Two-letter code:
AP
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization - African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
Name of Office:
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
Location:
11 Natal Road
Belgravia
Harare
Zimbabwe
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 4228
Harare
Zimbabwe
Telephone:
(263-242) 79 40 54
(263-242) 79 40 65
(263-242) 79 40 68
E-mail:
mail@aripo.org
for filing of documents only:
registry@aripo.org
Online contact service:
Facsimile:
(263-242) 79 40 73
(263-242) 79 40 72
Does the Office accept the filing of documents by facsimile or the like means (PCT Rule 92.4)?
Yes, by e-mail and facsimile
Which kinds of documents may be so transmitted?
All kinds of documents, with the exception of authorizations and priority documents
Must the original of the document be furnished in all cases?
Yes, within 60 days from the date of the transmission
Does the Office send notifications via e-mail in respect of international applications?
No
Would the Office accept evidence of mailing a document, in case of loss or delay, where a delivery service other than the postal authorities is used (PCT Rule 82.1)?
Yes
Is the Office prepared to allow applicants to make applications available to the WIPO Digital Access Service for Priority Documents (DAS) (PCT Rule 17.1(b-bis)?
No
Competent receiving Office(s) for international applications filed by nationals or residents of the following States:
BW
Botswana - Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) (Botswana)
CV
Cabo Verde - Institute for Quality Management and Intellectual Property (IGQPI) (Cabo Verde)
GH
Ghana - Registrar General's Department (Ghana)
GM
Gambia - Registrar General's Department, Ministry of Justice (Gambia)
KE
Kenya - Kenya Industrial Property Institute
LR
Liberia - Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO)
LS
Lesotho - Registrar General's Office (Lesotho)
MW
Malawi - Ministry of Justice, Department of the Registrar General (Malawi)
MZ
Mozambique - Industrial Property Institute (IPI) (Mozambique)
NA
Namibia - Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) (Namibia)
RW
Rwanda - Office of the Registrar General (Rwanda)
SC
Seychelles - Registration Division, Department of Legal Affairs (Seychelles)
SD
Sudan - Registrar General of Intellectual Property Department (Sudan)
SL
Sierra Leone - Administrator and Registrar General's Department (Sierra Leone)
ST
Sao Tome and Principe - Industrial Property National Service (SENAPI)
SZ
Eswatini - Refer to African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
TZ
United Republic of Tanzania - Business Registrations and Licensing Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade (United Republic of Tanzania)
UG
Uganda - Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
ZM
Zambia - Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) (Zambia)
ZW
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office

The applicant may also choose to file with the national Office of the country (except GM, MZ, SL, SZ, TZ, UG) of which he is a national or resident or with the IB (Refer to Annex C).
Competent designated and elected Office for:
Refer to National Phase AP.
BW
Botswana - Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) (Botswana)
CV
Cabo Verde - Institute for Quality Management and Intellectual Property (IGQPI) (Cabo Verde)
GH
Ghana - Registrar General's Department (Ghana)
GM
Gambia - Registrar General's Department, Ministry of Justice (Gambia)
KE
Kenya - Kenya Industrial Property Institute
LR
Liberia - Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO)
LS
Lesotho - Registrar General's Office (Lesotho)
MW
Malawi - Ministry of Justice, Department of the Registrar General (Malawi)
MZ
Mozambique - Industrial Property Institute (IPI) (Mozambique)
NA
Namibia - Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) (Namibia)
RW
Rwanda - Office of the Registrar General (Rwanda)
SC
Seychelles - Registration Division, Department of Legal Affairs (Seychelles)
SD
Sudan - Registrar General of Intellectual Property Department (Sudan)
SL
Sierra Leone - Administrator and Registrar General's Department (Sierra Leone)
ST
Sao Tome and Principe - Industrial Property National Service (SENAPI)
SZ
Eswatini - Refer to African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
TZ
United Republic of Tanzania - Business Registrations and Licensing Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade (United Republic of Tanzania)
UG
Uganda - Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
ZM
Zambia - Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) (Zambia)
ZW
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office
Types of protection available via the PCT:
ARIPO patents
ARIPO utility models (a utility model may be sought instead of or in addition to a patent)
Availability under the national law for an international-type search (PCT Article 15):
None
Provisional protection after international publication:
Refer to Annex B for provisional protection available under the national law of each State party to both the PCT and the Harare Protocol
Information of interest if this Contracting State is designated (or elected)
Time when the name and address of the inventor must be given:
May be in the request or may be furnished later. If not already complied with within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1), the Office will invite the applicant to comply with the requirement within two months from the date of the invitation.
Are there special provisions concerning the deposit of microorganisms and other biological material?
Yes, refer to Annex L.

Annex C - Receiving Office

Competent receiving Office for nationals and residents of:
BW
Botswana - Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) (Botswana)
CV
Cabo Verde - Institute for Quality Management and Intellectual Property (IGQPI) (Cabo Verde)
GH
Ghana - Registrar General's Department (Ghana)
GM
Gambia - Registrar General's Department, Ministry of Justice (Gambia)
KE
Kenya - Kenya Industrial Property Institute
LR
Liberia - Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO)
LS
Lesotho - Registrar General's Office (Lesotho)
MW
Malawi - Ministry of Justice, Department of the Registrar General (Malawi)
MZ
Mozambique - Industrial Property Institute (IPI) (Mozambique)
NA
Namibia - Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) (Namibia)
RW
Rwanda - Office of the Registrar General (Rwanda)
SC
Seychelles - Registration Division, Department of Legal Affairs (Seychelles)
SD
Sudan - Registrar General of Intellectual Property Department (Sudan)
SL
Sierra Leone - Administrator and Registrar General's Department (Sierra Leone)
ST
Sao Tome and Principe - Industrial Property National Service (SENAPI)
SZ
Eswatini - Refer to African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
TZ
United Republic of Tanzania - Business Registrations and Licensing Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade (United Republic of Tanzania)
UG
Uganda - Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
ZM
Zambia - Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) (Zambia)
ZW
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office
Language in which international applications may be filed:
English
Language accepted for language-dependent free text in the sequence listing:
Same as above
Language in which the request may be filed:
Not applicable
Number of copies required by the receiving Office if application filed on paper:
3
Does the receiving Office accept the filing of international applications in electronic form?
Yes, the Office accepts electronic filing via ePCT-Filing
Where the international application is filed in electronic form in accordance with and to the extent provided for in Part 7 and Annex F of the Administrative Instructions, the total amount of the international filing fee is reduced (refer to “Fees payable to the receiving Office”).
Where the international application contains a sequence listing as a separate part of the description, this should be furnished in accordance with Annex C of the Administrative Instructions, that is, in compliance with WIPO Standard ST.26 XML format; no fees are due for sequence listings filed in this format. If the receiving Office does not accept international applications in electronic form in such format, the international application will be transmitted to the International Bureau as receiving Office (PCT Rule 19.4(a)(ii-bis)).
For the relevant notifications by the Office, refer to the Official Notices (PCT Gazette) dated 9 July 2020, pages 150 et seq. and 6 October 2022, page 277.
Does the receiving Office accept requests for restoration of the right of priority (PCT Rule 26bis.3)?
Yes, please refer to the Office for the applicable criteria and/or any fee payable for such requests
Competent International Searching Authority:
AT
Austria - Austrian Patent Office
EP
European Patent Organisation - European Patent Office (EPO)
SE
Sweden - Swedish Intellectual Property Office (PRV)
Competent International Preliminary Examining Authority:
AT
Austria - Austrian Patent Office
EP
European Patent Organisation - European Patent Office (EPO)
SE
Sweden - Swedish Intellectual Property Office (PRV)
Fees payable to the receiving Office:
Transmittal fee:
50 USD
or equivalent in local currency of any ARIPO Contracting State where applicant is resident
International filing fee:
1,435 USD
This fee is reduced by 90% if certain conditions apply (refer to Annex C(IB)).
Fee per sheet in excess of 30:
16 USD
This fee is reduced by 90% if certain conditions apply (refer to Annex C(IB)).
Reductions (under Schedule of Fees, item 4):
Electronic filing (the request in character coded format):
216 USD
Electronic filing (the request, description, claims and abstract in character coded format):
324 USD
Search fee:
Refer to
Annex D(AT)
Annex D(EP)
Annex D(SE)
Fee for priority document (PCT Rule 17.1(b)):
30 USD
or equivalent in local currency of any ARIPO Contracting State where applicant is resident
Is an agent required by the receiving Office?
No, if the applicant resides in or has his principal place of business in an ARIPO Contracting State
Yes, if neither his residence nor his principal place of business is within the territory of one of the ARIPO Contracting States
Who can act as agent?
Any agent authorized to represent applicants before the national Office of an ARIPO Contracting State
Waiver of power of attorney:
Has the Office waived the requirement that a separate power of attorney be submitted?
Refer to the Office
Has the Office waived the requirement that a copy of a general power of attorney be submitted?
Refer to the Office

Annex L - Deposits of Microorganisms and Other Biological Material

Requirements of designated and elected Offices
Only Offices whose applicable national law contains provisions concerning the deposits of microorganisms and other biological material are listed in Annex L. Unless otherwise indicated, deposits may be made for the purposes of patent procedure before these Offices with any depositary institution having acquired the status of international depositary authority under the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.
For a list of these institutions refer to:
Notifications related thereto may be consulted under:
Further information concerning the requirements of international depository authorities under the Budapest Treaty is available at:
Time (if any) earlier than 16 months from priority date by which applicant must furnish:
— the indications prescribed in Rule 13bis.3(a)(i) to (iii):
None
— any additional indications:
At the time of filing
Additional indications (if any) which must be given besides those prescribed in Rule 13bis.3(a)(i) to (iii) pursuant to notifications from the Office:
To the extent available to the applicant, relevant information on the characteristics of the microorganism
Additional information
Deposits may also be made for the purposes of patent procedure before ARIPO with any depositary institution.

National Phase

Summary of requirements for entry into the national phase

Time limits applicable for entry into the national phase:
Under PCT Article 22(3): 31 months from the priority date
Under PCT Article 39(1)(b): 31 months from the priority date
Translation of international application required into (one of) the following language(s): 1
English
Required contents of the translation for entry into the national phase: 1
Under PCT Article 22: Description, claims (if amended, as amended only), any text matter of drawings, abstract
Under PCT Article 39(1): Description, claims, any text matter of drawings, abstract (if any of those parts has been amended, only as amended by the annexes to the international preliminary examination report)
Is a copy of the international application required in particular circumstances?
Yes
National fees:
Patents
Filing fee 2
online 232 USD
on paper 290 USD
Designation fee
per country 85 USD
Annual fees: 3
— for the 1st year
50 USD
— for the 2nd year
70 USD
— for the 3rd year
90 USD
Utility models
Filing fee
online 80 USD
on paper 100 USD
Designation fee
per country 20 USD
Maintenance fees:
— for the 1st year
20 USD
— for the 2nd year
25 USD
— for the 3rd year
30 USD
Exemptions, reductions or refunds of fees:
For applications filed on or before 1 January 2017, no search or examination fee is payable, if an international search report or preliminary examination report has been established for the international application.
Special requirements of the Office (PCT Rule 51bis):
If not complied with within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1), the Office will invite the applicant to comply with the requirement within a time limit fixed in the invitation
Appointment of an agent if the applicant is not resident in an ARIPO Contracting State
Assignment deed of the priority right where the applicants are not identical 4
Who can act as agent?
Any agent authorized to represent applicants before the national Office of an ARIPO Contracting State
Does the Office accept requests for restoration of the right of priority (PCT Rule 49ter.2)?
Yes, please refer to the Office for the applicable criteria and/or any fee payable for such requests

The procedure in the national Phase

AP.01 TRANSLATION (CORRECTION)
Errors in the translation of the international application can be corrected with reference to the text of the international application as filed (refer to National Phase, paragraphs 6.002 and 6.003).
AP.02 FEES (MANNER OF PAYMENT)
HR 11, HR 21, HR 23(2)(b)
The manner of payment of the fees indicated in the Summary and this Chapter is outlined in Annex AP.I.
AP.03 EXAMINATION
HP Sec. 3(3), HR 18, HAI 48-50
The Office will examine or arrange the examination of patent applications as to substance. A request for examination must be filed within three years from the international filing date. The request is subject to the payment of a fee which is indicated in Annex AP.I. Failure to make the request within the prescribed time limit will cause the application to lapse.
AP.04 POWER OF ATTORNEY
HR 10(2), HR 23(2)(c), HAI 19
An agent must be appointed by filing a power of attorney if the applicant is not a resident in a State member of ARIPO. A model is given in Annex AP.II. If the power of attorney is not filed at the time of entry into the national phase, it may be filed within two months from the expiration of that time limit.
AP.05 AMENDMENT OF THE APPLICATION; TIME LIMITS
PCT Art. 28, PCT Art. 41, HP Sec. 3(10)(g), HP Sec.5ter, HR 21ter, HAI 27
The applicant may amend or correct the claims, description and drawings in the international application provided that the scope of the subject matter of the application is not broadened thereby. The applicant may file voluntary amendments during the processing of the international application and after grant. Such amendments are subject to the payment of a fee as indicated in Annex AP.I.
AP.06
HR 18(3), HAI 27, HAI 50
Where, after taking due account of the international search and international preliminary examination reports, the Office concludes that the application does not comply with the criteria for patentability, it will notify the applicant accordingly and invite him to submit his observations and, where needed, amendments to the application together with a request that the matter be reconsidered. The Office will allow not less than two and not more than six months for the submission of the observations and amendments.
AP.07 CONVERSION INTO NATIONAL APPLICATION
HP Sec. 3(8), HR 19, HAI 54
If notwithstanding the request for reconsideration referred to in paragraph AP.06, the Office refuses the application, the applicant may, within three months from the date of the refusal of the request for reconsideration, request that his application be treated, in any designated member State, as an application according to the national law of that State. The request must specify the designated States in which the procedure for the grant of a national patent is desired, and must be submitted in the number of copies which should correspond to the number of the designated States specified, plus one copy for the Office. Within two weeks of receiving the request, the Office will transmit copies of the application and all relevant documents to the national Offices of the designated States specified by the applicant. The request for the conversion of an ARIPO application to a national application is subject to the payment of a fee indicated in Annex AP.I.
AP.08 ANNUAL FEES
HP Sec. 3(11), 3bis.(6)(ii), HR 21, HR 23(2)(b), HAI 58, HAI 59
Annual fees are due on the eve of each anniversary of the international filing date. The Office will issue a reminder to the applicant concerning payment of the annual fee at least one month prior to the date on which the annual fee is due. Subject to the payment of a surcharge (for the amount, refer to Annex AP.I), annual fees may be paid up to six months after the date. Any annual fee which falls due during the international phase need not be paid until the expiration of the applicable time limit for the entry into the national phase.
AP.09 ARIPO DESIGNATION FEES
HR 23(2)(b), HAI 38(3)
The applicant must pay one ARIPO designation fee (indicated in Annex AP.I.) for each State designated in the international application for an ARIPO patent for which he, at the time the payment is made, continues to seek ARIPO patent protection. Where the ARIPO designation fees are not paid for all the States designated for an ARIPO patent, the applicant must indicate the States to which the designation fees are to be applied. Where the amount of designation fees paid is not sufficient to cover all the States designated in the application, the amount paid shall be applied in respect of the States designated in the order in which they are designated and to the extent to which they are covered by the fee paid; the late payment in full of a designation fee shall be subject to the payment of the surcharge indicated in Annex AP.I.
AP.10 REVIEW UNDER ARTICLE 25 OF THE PCT
PCT Art. 25, PCT Rule 51, HP Sec. 3(4)
The applicable procedure is outlined in paragraphs 6.018 to 6.021 of the National Phase. If, upon review under PCT Article 25, the Office denies an error or omission on the part of the receiving Office or the International Bureau, an appeal against this decision may be lodged with the Office.
AP.11 EXCUSE OF DELAYS IN MEETING TIME LIMITS
PCT Art. 24(2), PCT Art. 48(2), PCT Rule 82bis, HAI 13
Reference is made to paragraphs 6.022 to 6.027 of the National Phase. At the Director General’s discretion, the applicant may be given an extension of any time limit prescribed by the Regulations and the Administrative Instructions. Such extension may be granted even if the time limit has already expired.
AP.12
HP Sec. 5bis
Reestablishment of rights may be requested where the applicant lost any right because, in spite of all due care required by the circumstances having been taken, failed to comply with a time limit before the office. A request for reestablishment of rights must be filed within two months after the removal of the cause of the failure to perform the action but not later than one year from the expiration of the time limit which has not been observed. Within the said time limits, the omitted act must be completed, the fee for reestablishment (refer to Annex AP.I) must be paid and the request must state the grounds on which it is based and must set out the facts on which it relies. Reestablishment of rights is not applicable to the time limit for claiming priority.
AP.13 UTILITY MODEL
PCT Rule 49bis.1, PCT Rule 49bis.1(a), PCT Rule 49bis.1(b), PCT Rule 76.5
If the applicant wishes to obtain a utility model registration in ARIPO on the basis of an international application
(i) instead of a patent, or
(ii) in addition to a patent,
the applicant, when performing the acts referred to in Article 22 or Article 39, shall so indicate to the Office.
AP.14
If the international application is for a utility model instead of a patent, the requirements are basically the same as for patents. The time limit applicable for entry into the national phase is 31 months under PCT Article 22 or 39(1), however, the term of protection of utility models is 10 years from the international filing date.
AP.15
If the international application is for both a utility model and a patent, the applicant must, within the time limit applicable for entry into the national phase, comply with the following requirements:
(i) pay two filing fees for both the patent and the utility model within 21 days from entry into the national phase;
(ii) where the international application was not filed in English, furnish a translation into English in two copies, including the description and at least one claim.
AP.16 CONVERSION
An international application for a patent may be converted into a utility model application and vice versa. Conversion from a patent application into a utility model application must be undertaken within 60 days from date of entry into the national phase. However, the applicant can still apply to the Director General of ARIPO if the 60 days time limit has expired for the conversion as long as the patent application has not yet been examined as to substance. A fee for requesting conversion is due (refer to Annex AP.I).

Annexes

Annex AP.I - Fees
Patents
National fee, comprising:
— basic fee (application fee)
online filing 232 USD
paper filing 290 USD
— designation fee for each ARIPO Contracting State designated
85 USD
Search fee (only where no international search report is submitted)
300 USD
Examination fee
300 USD
Publication fee
350 USD
— Surcharge for each additional page in excess of 30
20 USD
— Surcharge for each additional claim in excess of 10
50 USD
Grant fee
350 USD
Fee for certified copy of ARIPO patent application or granted patent
100 USD
— in addition
per page 5 USD
Fee for registration of assignments, transmissions, amendments, etc
100 USD
Fee for conversion of an ARIPO patent application to a national application
100 USD
Fee for conversion of an ARIPO patent application to an ARIPO utility model application
100 USD
Fee for reestablishment of rights
100 USD
Annual fees in respect of each designated State (payable on each anniversary of the international filing date):
— for the 1st anniversary
50 USD
— for the 2nd anniversary
70 USD
— for the 3rd anniversary
90 USD
— for the 4th anniversary
110 USD
— for the 5th anniversary
130 USD
— for the 6th anniversary
150 USD
— for the 7th anniversary
170 USD
— for the 8th anniversary
190 USD
— for the 9th anniversary
210 USD
— for the 10th anniversary
230 USD
— for the 11th anniversary
250 USD
— for the 12th anniversary
270 USD
— for the 13th anniversary
290 USD
— for the 14th anniversary
310 USD
— for the 15th anniversary
330 USD
— for the 16th anniversary
380 USD
— for the 17th anniversary
430 USD
— for the 18th anniversary
480 USD
— for the 19th anniversary
530 USD
— for the 20th anniversary
580 USD
Surcharge for late payment of annual fees
100 USD
— and for every month or fraction thereof that the fee remains unpaid
50 USD
Correction of errors:
— the 1st error
50 USD
— any additional error
20 USD
Fee for voluntary amendment during processing
200 USD
Fee for voluntary amendment after grant
300 USD
Consultation of Registers
10 USD
Request for copies of extracts from Register or from files
per page 5 USD
Preparation of abstract
100 USD
Request for any extension
50 USD
Utility models
National fee, comprising:
— basic fee (application fee):
online filing 80 USD
paper filing 100 USD
— designation fee for each ARIPO member State designated
20 USD
Registration and publication fee
50 USD
Fee for certified copy of ARIPO utility model application
per page 2 USD
— and for every page in excess of 10
1 USD
Fee for registration of assignments, transmissions, amendments, etc
30 USD
— and for every page in excess of 10
1 USD
Fee for conversion of an ARIPO utility model application to a national application
300 USD
Maintenance fees in respect of each designated State:
— for the 1st year
20 USD
— for the 2nd year
25 USD
— for the 3rd year
30 USD
— for the 4th year
35 USD
— for the 5th year
40 USD
— for the 6th year
45 USD
— for the 7th year
50 USD
— for the 8th year to the 10th year
per year 10 USD
Surcharge for late payment of maintenance fees
30 USD
— and for every month or fraction thereof that the fee remains unpaid
5 USD
How can payment of fees be effected?
The payment of fees to ARIPO must be effected in US dollars. All payments must give the application number (national if already known; international if the national number is not yet known). Payment of fees may be made by bank check or telegraphic transfer.
Forms
The following documents are maintained by the Office. Refer to the Office website (Annex B) for latest version and other languages.
Notes:
1 a b Must be furnished within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
2 a Must be paid within 21 days from the expiration of the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
3 a The Office should be consulted for the time limit applicable for the payment of this fee.
4 a This requirement may be satisfied if the corresponding declaration has been made in accordance with PCT Rule 4.17.
Special edition as of 31 October 2023, prepared for EQE candidates printed on 1 Dec 2023