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Patent in ARIPO

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The Harare Protocol regulating the protection of patents, industrial designs and utility models has 20 contracting states: Botswana, Cape Verde, Eswatini, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • Patent fees

Fees associated with filing patent applications in ARIPO, as well as other patent fees, are available in the fee calculator.

  • Term for filing a patent application in ARIPO

Applicants having applied to any Paris Convention or WTO member-country may claim conventional priority during the term of 12 months from the priority date. Priority may still be claimed within 16 months from the earliest priority date.

  • Filing requirements in ARIPO

Applications may be filed in any language; however, the translation into English certified by the applicant or the translator must be submitted within 2 months from the date of filing.

The filing date will be accorded if the application includes:
- request to grant a patent;
- description and one or more claims;
- declaration of priority (if applies);
- payment of the prescribed fees.

A certified copy of the Priority Document shall be furnished within 3 months from the filing date. In case the language of the Priority Document is other than English, the English translation shall be submitted within 6 months from the filing date.

A simply signed Power of Attorney shall be submitted either at the time of filing an application or within 2 months from the filing date.

If an applicant is not the inventor, a statement explaining the applicant’s right to the invention shall be included into the application.

  • Examination of an ARIPO patent application 

The application is examined as to form and substance alike. The term for requesting substantive examination is 3 years from the filing date.

  • Novelty grace period

The disclosure of an invention at an officially recognized exhibition does not disprove its novelty, if the application is filed within 6 months.

  • Grant, validity term and maintenance fees

Provided that grant and publication fees are paid, a patent is granted for a period of 20 years in each designated state. Pending applications and granted patents are subject to the payment of annual maintenance fees, starting from the first year. Annual fees must be paid before each anniversary of the filing date for the following year, at least one month in advance to the ARIPO office. The fees are payable in respect of each designated state. It is possible to pay annual fees within 6 months after the due date, the surcharge applies.

  • Duration of registration procedure 

If the prosecution process goes smoothly, it takes an average of 2-4 years to obtain a patent in ARIPO.

  • Utility Model 

It is possible to obtain utility model protection in ARIPO. Utility models must be new and industrially applicable. Applications undergo formal examination only. The validity term is 10 years of the filing date subject to the payment of annual maintenance fees.

  • Representation by a patent attorney

For foreign applicants not residing or not having the principle place of business in one of the contracting states, it is necessary to perform patent prosecution through a professional representative (attorney, agent or legal practitioner) authorized before any national office of the Harare protocol countries.

  •  Note

Online Search Database for ARIPO Patents and Utility Models.

Brief summary is based on the information provided by PalladiumIP Consultants on 04.03.2024
Please contact us if the above information is not in conformity with ARIPO IP Laws