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WIPO - PCT Applicant's Guide OA - African Intellectual Property Organization
African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)

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 Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
BAR: Agreement Relating to the Revision of the Bangui Agreement dated 2 March 1977 instituting an African Intellectual Property Organization
BAR I: Annex I, Patents, to the said Agreement
BAR II: Annex II, Utility Models, to the said Agreement
AI: Administrative Instructions under the said Agreement
RR: Regulations Relating to the Restoration of Rights of July 1970
RHCA: Regulations Relating to the Organization and Functioning of the High Commission of Appeals
List of currencies used in this document:
CHF (Swiss franc), XAF (CFA franc BEAC)
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 Intellectual Property Organization
Two-letter code:
OA
African Intellectual Property Organization - African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
Name of Office:
African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
Location:
Place de la Préfecture
Yaoundé
Cameroon
Mailing address:
B.P. 887
Yaoundé
Cameroon
Telephone:
(237-2) 220 39 11
(237-2) 220 57 00
E-mail:
oapi@oapi.int
Facsimile:
(237-2) 220 18 44
(237-2) 220 57 27
Does the Office accept the filing of documents by facsimile or the like means (PCT Rule 92.4)?
Yes, by facsimile
Which kinds of documents may be so transmitted?
All kinds of documents
Must the original of the document be furnished in all cases?
Yes, within two months from the date of the transmission, if the transmitted document is a power of attorney or a replacement sheet of the description, claims or drawings
Yes, within six months from the date of entry into the national phase for documents relating to priority (instrument of assignment of priority and, only when PCT Rule 17.1(c) applies, priority document)
No, in the case of other documents
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:
BF
Burkina Faso - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
BJ
Benin - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CF
Central African Republic - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CG
Congo - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CI
Côte d'Ivoire - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CM
Cameroon - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GA
Gabon - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GN
Guinea - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GQ
Equatorial Guinea - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GW
Guinea-Bissau - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
KM
Comoros - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
ML
Mali - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
MR
Mauritania - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
NE
Niger - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
SN
Senegal - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
TD
Chad - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
TG
Togo - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)

At the choice of the applicant IB or OA, refer to Annex C.
Does national legislation restrict the filing of international applications with foreign Offices?
Refer to the Office
Competent designated (or elected) Office(s) for this State:
Refer to National Phase.
OA
African Intellectual Property Organization - African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
Types of protection available via the PCT:
OAPI patents
OAPI certificates of addition
OAPI utility models
Availability under the national law for an international-type search (PCT Article 15):
None
Provisional protection after international publication:
None
Information of interest if this Contracting State is designated (or elected)
Time when the name and address of the inventor must be given:
Must be in the request if the inventor has not renounced in writing the right to be named. If the data concerning the inventor are not in the request, the Office will invite the applicant to comply with the requirement and to pay a fee within a time limit fixed in the invitation. In any case, a patent may not be granted before the required corrections have been made.
Are there special provisions concerning the deposit of microorganisms and other biological material?
No

Annex C - Receiving Office

Competent receiving Office for nationals and residents of:
BF
Burkina Faso - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
BJ
Benin - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CF
Central African Republic - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CG
Congo - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CI
Côte d'Ivoire - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
CM
Cameroon - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GA
Gabon - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GN
Guinea - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GQ
Equatorial Guinea - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
GW
Guinea-Bissau - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
KM
Comoros - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
ML
Mali - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
MR
Mauritania - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
NE
Niger - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
SN
Senegal - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
TD
Chad - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
TG
Togo - Refer to African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
Language in which international applications may be filed:
If the language in which the international application is filed is not accepted by the International Searching Authority (refer to Annex D), the applicant will have to furnish a translation (PCT Rule 12.3).
English
French
Language in which the request may be filed:
English
French
Number of copies required by the receiving Office if application filed on paper:
1
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.
For the relevant notifications by the Office, refer to the Official Notices (PCT Gazette) dated 12 January 2023, pages 10 et seq.
Does the receiving Office accept requests for restoration of the right of priority (PCT Rule 26bis.3)?
Yes, the Office applies the “due care” criterion to such requests
Competent International Searching Authority:
AT
Austria - Austrian Patent Office
EP
European Patent Organisation - European Patent Office (EPO)
RU
Russian Federation - Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) (Russian Federation)
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)
1
RU
Russian Federation - Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) (Russian Federation)
SE
Sweden - Swedish Intellectual Property Office (PRV)
Fees payable to the receiving Office:
Transmittal fee:
Information not yet available
International filing fee:
Equivalent in XAF of 1,330 CHF
This fee is reduced by 90% if certain conditions apply (refer to Annex C(IB)).
Fee per sheet in excess of 30:
Equivalent in XAF of 15 CHF
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):
Equivalent in XAF of 200 CHF
Electronic filing (the request, description, claims and abstract in character coded format):
Equivalent in XAF of 300 CHF
Search fee:
Equivalent in XAF of the search fee payable to the International Searching Authority chosen by the applicant:
Refer to
Annex D(AT)
Annex D(EP)
Annex D(RU)
Annex D(SE)
Fee for priority document (PCT Rule 17.1(b)):
60,000 XAF
— in excess of 10 pages
per page, plus 15,000 XAF
Fee for requesting restoration of the right of priority (PCT Rule 26bis.3(d)):
Please refer to the Office
Is an agent required by the receiving Office?
No, if the applicant resides in an OAPI Member State
Yes, if the applicant does not reside in an OAPI Member State
Who can act as agent?
Any agent authorized to represent applicants before the OAPI
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

National Phase

Summary of requirements for entry into the national phase

Time limits applicable for entry into the national phase:
Under PCT Article 22(1): 30 months from the priority date
Under PCT Article 39(1)(a): 30 months from the priority date
Translation of international application required into (one of) the following language(s):
Must be furnished or paid within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
English
French
Required contents of the translation for entry into the national phase:
Must be furnished or paid within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
Under PCT Article 22: Description, claims (if amended, as amended only, together with any statement under PCT Article 19), 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?
No
National fees:
Patents
Filing fee
Must be furnished or paid within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
225,000 XAF
Fee for priority claims 2
per priority 63,000 XAF
Publication fee 2
365,000 XAF
Claim fee for each claim in excess of 10 2
45,000 XAF
Fee for acceptance of description and drawings: 2
— for 11 to 20 sheets
120,000 XAF
— for 21 to 30 sheets
300,000 XAF
— for 31 to 40 sheets
600,000 XAF
— after 40 for each set of 10 sheets
80,000 XAF
Annual fee for the 2nd to the 3rd year: 3
per year 220,000 XAF
Utility models
Filing fee
Must be furnished or paid within the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
20,000 XAF
Fee for priority claims 2
per priority 25,000 XAF
Publication fee 2
30,000 XAF
Claim fee for each claim in excess of 10 2
40,000 XAF
Annual fee for the 2nd year 3
20,000 XAF
Annual fee for the 3rd year 3
35,000 XAF
Exemptions, reductions or refunds of fees:
None
Special requirements of the Office (PCT Rule 51bis):
The list of special requirements is still subject to confirmation by the Office
Name and address of the inventor if they have not been furnished in the “Request” part of the international application 4
Appointment of an agent if the applicant is not resident in a member State of OAPI
Translation of priority document into English or French 5
Instrument of assignment of the priority application where the applicants are not identical 4
Who can act as agent?
Any patent attorney or attorney-at-law registered to practice before OAPI
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

OA.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).
OA.02 FEES (MANNER OF PAYMENT)
The manner of payment of the fees indicated in the Summary and in this Chapter is outlined in Annex OA.I.
OA.03 POWER OF ATTORNEY
BAR I Art. 11(c), AI Sec. 108
An agent must be appointed by filing a power of attorney. A model is given in Annex OA.II.
OA.04 ANNUAL FEES
BAR I Art. 35, BAR I Art. 36
Annual fees must be paid for each year following the first anniversary of the international filing date. For the due dates of the annual fees for the second and the third years, refer to the Summary. Payment of the annual fees for the subsequent years must be made in advance before each anniversary of the international filing date. Payment can then be made, together with a supplement for late payment, within six months after the due date. For the amounts, refer to Annex OA.I.
OA.05 AMENDMENT OF THE APPLICATION; TIME LIMITS
PCT Art. 28, PCT Art. 41
The applicant may amend the description, claims and drawings of the application, provided that the subject matter of the application is not broadened thereby, until the later of the following two events:
(i) the expiration of six months from the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1),
(ii) the final decision of OAPI to grant a patent.
The amendments must be made by means of replacement sheets and are subject to the payment of a fee whose amount is given in Annex OA.I.
OA.06 REVIEW UNDER ARTICLE 25 OF THE PCT
PCT Art. 25, PCT Rule 51, BAR Art. 16, RHCA Art. 8
The applicable procedure is outlined in paragraphs 6.018 to 6.021 of the National Phase. If, upon review under PCT Article 25, OAPI denies an error or an omission on the part of the receiving Office or the International Bureau, an appeal against this decision may be lodged within one month from the notification of the decision. A fee for appeal (refer to Annex OA.I) must be paid at the same time. The High Commission of Appeal of OAPI will then decide on the appeal.
OA.07 EXCUSE OF DELAYS IN MEETING TIME LIMITS
PCT Art. 24(2), PCT Art.48(2), BAR Art. 16, RHCA Art. 9, RR Art. 2
Reference is made to paragraphs 6.022 to 6.027 of the National Phase. Where the applicant, in spite of all due care required by the circumstances having been taken, was unable to meet the time limits for entry into the national phase under PCT Article 22 or 39, he may file a request for restoration of his rights. Likewise, if he was not able to meet the time limit for payment of an annual fee for causes beyond his control, he may file a request for restoration of his rights at the latest 24 months after the expiration of the time limit.
OA.08 UTILITY MODEL
PCT Art. 4(3), PCT Art. 43, BAR I Art. 8, BAR II Art. 5(2), BAR II Art. 13(4)
Subject to what is said in paragraph OA.11, if the applicant wishes to obtain a utility model instead of a patent, on the basis of an international application, it must be indicated in the international application (in Box No. V of the request) when filed.
OA.09
BAR II Art. 14
The requirements for the national phase are basically the same as for patents, except that it is the fees for utility models which must be paid.
OA.10
Where, in the case referred to in paragraph OA.08, the international application
(i) is not restricted to a single principal subject, the applicant must, at the latest before the expiration of six months from the date of the notification from OAPI that the application cannot be accepted as presented on the grounds of not having one principal subject, divide the application into the required number of applications benefiting from the international filing date;
PCT Art. 7(2)(ii), PCT Rule 7.2, BAR II Art. 10(d)(ii), BAR II Art. 11(1), BAR II Art. 17(1)
(ii) does not contain drawings, the applicant must furnish the drawings within two months from the date of the notification from OAPI. Where an international application for a patent is converted into a utility model application (refer to the next paragraph), the drawing(s) must be submitted with the request for conversion.
OA.11 CONVERSION
An international application for a patent may be converted into a utility model application after the applicant has compiled with the requirements for entering the national phase for a patent application as indicated in the Summary. The conversion is subject to the payment of a fee for conversion indicated in Annex OA.I and may be requested up to the occurrence of the first of the following two events:
(i) the expiration of 30 days from the date of notification of the rejection of the application (for a patent) by OAPI;
(ii) the expiration of four years from the international filing date or three years from the grant of the patent, whichever is the later.
BAR II Art. 13
Subject to the production of legitimate reasons why the applicant was prevented from requesting conversion into a utility model application, the time limit for requesting conversion may be extended upon request by the applicant by 60 days. Two further extensions of 60 days each may be requested before the expiration of the 60-day period, provided that the applicant submits legitimate reasons why he was prevented from applying for conversion.

Annexes

Annex OA.I - Fees
Patents
Filing fee
225,000 XAF
Publication fee
365,000 XAF
Fee for acceptance of description and drawings:
— from 11 to 20 pages
120,000 XAF
— from 21 to 30 pages
300,000 XAF
— from 31 to 40 pages
600,000 XAF
— and for each additional set of 10 sheets
80,000 XAF
Claim fee for each claim in excess of 10
45,000 XAF
Fee for claiming the priority of one or several earlier applications, per priority claim
63,000 XAF
Annual fees:
— for the 2nd to the 5th year, per year
220,000 XAF
— for the 6th to the 10th year, per year
375,000 XAF
— for the 11th to the 15th year, per year
500,000 XAF
— for the 16th to the 20th year, per year
650,000 XAF
Supplement for late payment of annual fee
70,000 XAF
Fee for amendment or correction of errors of substance in the request, description, claims, abstract or drawings
40,000 XAF
Fee for restoration of rights:
(a) in connection with a priority claim:
— fault attributable to agent
650,000 XAF
— fault attributable to applicant or any other circumstances
375,000 XAF
(b) in the case of lapse for non-payment of annual fee within the prescribed time limits:
— fault attributable to agent
650,000 XAF
— fault attributable to applicant or any other circumstances
375,000 XAF
Appeal fee
960,000 XAF
Utility models
Filing fee
20,000 XAF
Publication fee
30,000 XAF
Fee for claiming the priority of one or more earlier applications, per priority claimed
25,000 XAF
Fee for conversion of a patent into a utility model
81,000 XAF
Fee for amendment or correction of errors of substance in the description or drawings:
18,000 XAF
Fee for putting a utility model application in order within the prescribed time limits
11,000 XAF
Fee for restoration in connection with a priority claim not having been effected within the prescribed time limits:
— fault attributable to agent
260,000 XAF
— fault attributable to applicant or any other circumstances
100,000 XAF
How can payment of fees be effected?
The payment of fees to OAPI has to be effected in CFA francs. Payment of fees can be made by cash payment, check, Bank transfer, deposit account, money order, postal order or telegram. All payments must give the application number (national if already known; international if the national number is not yet known). Bank transfer must be effected on OAPI accounts below:
Bank
AFRILAND FIRST BANK
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10005 00001 00118361001 47
SWIFT
CCEICMCX
Bank
BGFI BANK
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10035 01200 50001646011 90
SWIFT
BGFICMCX
Bank
UBA CFA
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10033 05207 07003000016 87
SWIFT
UNAFCMCX
Bank
SCB CAM
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10002 00031 09212713150 42
SWIFT
CRLYCMCXXXX
Bank
SGBC
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10003 00200 29009003489 14
SWIFT
SGCMCMCX
Bank
BICEC
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10001 06860 12301560000 43
SWIFT
ICLRCMCX
Bank
ECOBANK
Yaoundé
IBAN
CM21 10029 26011 01300051802 12
SWIFT
ECOCCMCX
Bank
ECOBANK
Douala
IBAN
CM21 10029 00001 01300051801 31
SWIFT
ECOCCMCX
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 The Office is competent only if the international search is or has been carried out by that Office, the Austrian Patent Office or the Swedish Intellectual Property Office (PRV).
2 a b c d e f g Due within six months from the time limit applicable under PCT Article 22 or 39(1).
3 a b c Due to the new time limit applicable under PCT Article 22, the Office should be consulted for the time limit applicable for the payment of this fee.
4 a b This requirement may be satisfied if the corresponding declaration has been made in accordance with PCT Rule 4.17.
5 a If the validity of the priority claim is relevant to the determination of whether the invention concerned is patentable.
Current version applicable from 15 Sep 2023 , printed on 15 Jun 2024