News & Updates – African Regional Intellectual Property Office

The African Regional Intellectual Property Office (“ARIPO”), in Harare, Zimbabwe has tabled various important changes on Trademarks, Patents & Industrial Designs in terms of procedure/process and substance. While we await finalisation it is important for stakeholders to acquaint themselves with these updates as they may have financial and documentary implications. We have briefly captured some of the developments as follows:

1. PATENTS (the Harare Protocol)

Patent applications
Third party observations- The proposal, contained in Section 2, is to allow for third party observations to ARIPO patent and Utility Model applications. The observer will not become a party to the proceedings.

Request for grant
Section 3 (1) is to be amended by specifically requiring the application to contain ‘a request for the grant of an ARIPO patent’ rather than simply ‘identify the patent

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