ARIPO was created by way of the Banjul Protocol. The ARIPO member states are Botswana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Sao Tome & Principe.
The 45 classes of the International Classification (10th Edition) of goods and services are followed excluding Malawi where the 34 classes of the international Classification of goods are followed.
Multi-class applications are permitted.
In terms of the Paris Convention, applicants can claim priority from a foreign trade mark application to be extended to ARIPO.
A trade mark is a mark that is used (or proposed to be used) in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing those goods or services from similar or identical goods or services connected in trade with another party.
The costs of filing trade mark applications in ARIPO are as follows:
Once the application is filed with ARIPO and the application fees are paid, ARIPO examines the application to determine whether it meets the formal requirements for a trade mark application. If the application meets the formal requirements then the designated countries shall be notified. The designated countries must do a substantive examination of the application in terms of their local law and respond within 9 months of the date of the notification by ARIPO.
The designated country may accept or reject the application. If the application is accepted or no response is received from the designated country within the 9-month period, the application shall be published as accepted in the ARIPO Journal. The application shall be subject to opposition for 3 months from the date of publication.
If any designated state refuses the application, it is possible to make representations to the designated state’s national office. The representations must be made within 2 months of being informed of the refusal. Thereafter the timelines are dictated by the national laws of the designated state.
Renewal is required every 10 years and, for purposes of renewal, the priority date will be used. Priority claims are also subject to 10-yearly renewal requirements.