Thursday, 4 December 2008

ARIPO'S facelift

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) has had a makeover on its website located here. For those who do not know and according to the website:

"ARIPO was mainly established to pool the resources of its member countries in industrial property matters together in order to avoid duplication of financial and human resources. Thus the preamble to the Lusaka Agreement [the Agreement on the Creation of the Industrial Property Organization for English-speaking Africa ie ARIPO] clearly states that member states are "aware of the advantage to be derived by them from the effective and continuous exchange of information and harmonization and co-ordination of their laws and activities in industrial property matters". Member states also recognized that the "creation of an African regional industrial property organization for the study and promotion of and co-operation in industrial property matters would best serve that purpose.""

The objectives of ARIPO are commendable and the success of other regional systems such as the Community Trade Mark, Madrid Union and OAPI should encourage further improvement at ARIPO which has had mixed reviews (see earlier postings here, for example). Africa is receiving increased attention (see report here) and if a regional system like ARIPO is able to provide an efficient world class service not only will it make money (see OHIM fee problem/success story here) ARIPO would probably find that achieving its objectives would be significantly easier. Recent decisions that have upheld ARIPO patents should help quieten its detractors (see earlier post here).

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