The Central African Republic is a member of the Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI), also known as the African Intellectual Property Organization or the African Union. The African Union consists of sixteen French-based countries that share a common intellectual property system established by the Bangui Agreement in 1977. The uniform system includes a singular set of laws that are applied the same in the local courts of each member country.
Obtaining a Patent in the Central African Republic
Patents must be issued by the OAPI to be recognized in the Central African Republic. No additional steps are required to extend the protection to the Central African Republic. The OAPI accepts applications directly or by transfer from the local IP offices of some member countries. The specifications must be in French or English. There are additional fees associated with applications exceeding 10 claims or 10 pages of description. Once issued, patents are valid in the Central African Republic for ten years and can be renewed for two further five year periods. Annual maintenance fees are required during the life of a patent.
PCT National Phase in the Central African Republic
The OAPI is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, as is each member of the OAPI individually. Consequently, international filings are recognized in the Central African Republic if the OAPI is designated within 30 months of the priority date.