Thursday, 7 May 2015

ARIPO, OAPI attend INTA in San Diego -- but there is still further to go

This year's International Trademark Association (INTA) Meeting in San Diego, California, is now over and the nearly 10,000 registrants are wending their way home.  For many of our African colleagues this means taking two or three flights and experiencing a second major bout of jetlag in a single week. Afro Leo wishes them all a safe trip home and hopes that the experience was a positive one for them.

It is good to see Africa being represented at INTA not only by the many practitioners who have put aside their daily workload in order to travel and participate.  Both ARIPO and OAPI (in alphabetical order) took display booths in the INTA Exhibit Hall and were able to provide useful advice to those who sought it.

ARIPO now has 19 member states, plus 12 states with observer status, while OAPI has 17.  This is very encouraging, for those of us who remember what things were like 30 or 40 years ago, but it indicates that Africa as a regional concept still has a considerable distance to travel if it is able to achieve the sort of functional efficiency and cost-saving that is enjoyed by other regions in the world. Let's hope that we won't have to wait too long to see those benefits.


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