COUNTRY : REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
CAPITAL : YAOUNDE
LANGUAGE : FRENCH / ENGLISH
Filing Of Trademarks In Cameroon - OAPI
The African Intellectual Property Organization known commonly by it's French Acronym (OAPI) was establish through the Bangui Agreement at the Republic of Central Africa and is headquartered at Yaounde, Cameroon.
OAPI came to be constituted through the Bangui Agreement and is comity of 16 French Colonies which are also French Speaking Countries - Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo, Equatorial Guinea.
The Bangui Agreement deals with the following Intellectual Property matters relating to member countries:
Patents, Utility Models, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, Trade Names, Geographical Indications, Copyrights, Unfair Competition, Integrated Circuits Layouts and Plant Varity Rights.
Member Nations of the OAPI have retained significant portions of the legal systems of the countries that colonized them, however, legal questions regarding infringement nd IP matters requiring litigation are to be settled by domestic courts of each state.
Member nations recognize the provision entrenched in the Bangui Agreement and its annexes as their national law. Hence, OAPI allows applicants to receive Trademarks protection in all of the 16 jurisdictions with a single application and registration. Therefore, Registration in individual member nations, is no longer possible.
INDIVIDUAL MARKS, COLLECTIVE MARKS, WELL-KNOWN MARKS UNDER OAPI:
Individual marks differentiate products or services offered by one undertaking from of those of other companies or competitors.
Collective marks have to comply with the conditions of use laid down by regulation approved by the competent authority. Its legal regime is significantly different from that of individual marks.
Persons entitled to benefit from the collective marks are, unions, groups of producers industrial, artisans or merchants.
When a brand, be it individual or collective, acquires a certain reputation it will becomes well known and enjoys a special regime of protection.
The mark may be considered well known, once it is known to a large fraction of the public. So it is not that the mark is known to a public specialized in a particular trade or industry, for example in a professional circle. Most often it will be required that the mark is known of a large part of the public, i.e. the whole of the population. Moreover, the reputation must be found in the country where protection is sought. No doubt, is it not necessary that the mark is used in the country, but it is necessary that it be known.
Unlike ordinary marks, the well-known mark is not required to be repository for legal protection. The assessment of the reputation is the sovereign power of the judge.
THE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN OAPI:
Following are the judicial proceedings that take place at OAPI:
· The action for revocation
· The strike action
· The action for unfair competition
CONDITIONS FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS UNDER OAPI:
It is highly advisable to conduct a search of the proposed mark to ensure that a similar mark has not been applied for by other contenders and is not pending registration or is already registered.
Filing is done with the Trademark office of OAPI.
· Infringement & Opposition Actions
· License and Assignment procedures
· Trademark Watch Services
Upon filing, the application is examined for compliance and any deficiensy found are intimated to the applicant.
Upon application found to be compliment with all the requisites it is published in the official trademarks bulletin.
Interested third parties may oppose registration of the application within six months from the date of publication.
In the event the application encounters opposition by third parties it is taken up for adjudication accordingly.
Non usage of the registered trademark continuously for a period of five years would lead to cancellation of the registered trademark.
TRADEMARK COST FOR OAPI
COST – EURO
Filing application for one mark in three classes in the same application assuming no objection from Trademark Office
- Color Publication Fee
- Conventional Priority
Renewal before he due date
One mark in one class
Same mark in next class
Transfer of trademark ownership, change of status, licensing, assignment etc for 1 class and additional classes
Above fee is for straightforward case assuming no objection from trademark office