The Organisation africaine de la propriété intellectuelle (OAPI) (African Intellectual Property Organization) on June 16 deposited its instrument of accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The Geneva Act is one of the three treaties that govern the Hague System for the international registration of industrial designs, which offers businesses in all participating countries a simple, affordable and efficient way of obtaining and maintaining their industrial designs portfolios.
OAPI's instrument of accession, deposited by OAPI Director General Dr. Paulin Edou Edou, will become effective as from September 16. "OAPI's participation in this system is designed not only to promote the flow of protection for foreign creations on the territories of our Member States," said Dr. Edou Edou, "but above all for our creators, who have few economic resources, to make use of the facilities offered by the system in order to obtain protection from the abuses to which they are frequently subject and to benefit fairly from their creative work".
OAPI groups 16 member states, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Dr. Edou Edou added, "these countries have only a tiny share of the volume of international trade and for their creators and businessmen, the Hague System offers the opportunity to extend the protection of their creations of form abroad without being subject to innumerable requirements, and this, at lower cost."
Under the guidance of Dr Edou Edou, OAPI is carving out a new role for itself, in which accession to the Hague system is...