Africa, the second-biggest continent has always been known to have a shaky past, but during the past couple of decades, we are seeing an unprecedented growth in its economy which makes it an ideal place to invest because of its newfound market potential. Economists are concerned over business owners planning to start and grow their business and the things they can do to protect their trademarks in Africa.
With the rate of how quickly countries in Africa are being urbanized, combined with the technological advancements and the increasing population of the workforce, Africa is perfectly positioned to have a booming economic environment and soon be part of the major members in the global trade, strengthening the intellectual property rights foundation would be a very important part of its growth.
Africa is getting increasingly consumeristic, and the number of investment opportunities mushroomed throughout the continent, along with the significance of the intellectual property. Businesses must ensure that their brand has enough protection against third-parties copying and infringing your trademark, this protection would give you the absolute advantage of having your business thrive.
If you are planning to run your business while dealing with third-party distributors and agents, it is imperative that you should register your intellectual property rights. It is a common practice among third-parties in the continent to detect loopholes in the trademark protection law and take advantage of it to register the trademark for themselves. Filing protection for your trademark in most of the countries can be tedious but considering how much more costly and time-consuming it can be to have someone infringe on your brand. We cannot stress the importance of first ensuring that you have registered your trademark rights even before you start thinking about dealing with third-parties.
Africa is composed of 50 independent states and every country in promulgating their own intellectual property laws. There are several ways of obtaining protection for your brand’s trademark through any of the following:
Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI)
When you acquire your protection from the OAPI you are covered in all the other 17 country members.
In almost all of the African countries, you can acquire protection through the National Rights except South Sudan and Somalia.
African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO)
The ARIPO grants protection for your trademark across all of their 19 country members.
This way you could obtain your trademark protection through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). They operate a central global trademark filing system which enables multiple entities to be covered under one trademark protection application.
CtR Intellectual Property Co.
Hong Kong Patent Application Grant Authorised Patent Agent
Offering Professional Patent and Trademark Application & Related Services