The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reports that the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) has become the ninety-third member of the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks. The accession of OAPI adds the West African countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, and Togo to the Madrid System. Beginning March 5, 2015, brand owners in West Africa who seek international trademark protection will have access to the convenience and potential cost savings of the Madrid System, and brand owners in Madrid member countries will be able to extend trademark protection into the seventeen member states that comprise OAPI.
As WIPO explains, for those unfamiliar with the Madrid System: “The Madrid System makes it possible for an applicant to apply for a trademark in a large number of countries by filing a single international application at a national or regional IP office of a country/region that is party to the system. It simplifies the process of multinational trademark registration by reducing the requirement to file an application at the intellectual property office in each country in which protection is sought. The system also simplifies the subsequent management of the mark, since it is possible to record further changes or to renew the registration through a single procedural step.”
Reposted from WIPO.