Benin is a member of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), which is a union of sixteen African countries that have elected to share a common intellectual property system. The OAPI was established by the Bangui Agreement in 1977. While some member countries have intellectual property offices, all registrations must go through the OAPI Patent Office located in Yaounde, Cameroon. The member countries do not require entry into a national phase because each country uses a uniform law when settling patent disputes in local courts.
Obtaining a Patent in Benin
All applications must be submitted in French or English directly to the OAPI office or transmitted there from a local IP office. The OAPI Patent Office then examines the applications for administrative requirements and patentability. Once a patent is granted by the OAPI, it is valid in all member countries without further action. Patents remain valid for an initial term of ten years from the date of filing, but two subsequent terms of five years can be added to the life of a patent if use of the patent can be shown in at least one member country and the proper fees are paid.