How to secure patent protection in Africa – SANI, ARIPO and OAPI

The most effective way to secure patent protection in Africa is to file either Regional Patents or Combination Patents:

  • SANi* Patents are the best option, covering territories with a greater GDP than ARIPO and OAPI Patents combined;
  • ARIPO Patents are the second best option, covering 20 (largely, Anglophone) African States. The total Population of ARIPO member States is larger than SANi and OAPI Patents;
  • OAPI Patents are the third best option, covering 17 (largely, Francophone) African States. The total GDP and Population of OAPI member States are lower than either SANi or ARIPO patents.

Cost of filing

SANi Patents are the most affordable African patents to file, with the cost being fixed, irrespective of the number of claims or pages.

ARIPO Patents is the most expensive option, with costs depending on the number of States selected, the number of claims and the number of pages.

Cost of renewal

Unlike ARIPO and OAPI patents, SANi Patents may be renewed “to term” on filing. In other words, renewals for the entire 20-year term of SANi Patents may be pre-paid. Doing this reduces the lifetime cost of SANi Patents by about 90%.

ARIPO Patent renewals are dependent on the number of States selected.

Time to grant

Since SANi and OAPI Patents are not subject to examination, they generally proceed to grant within 3-13 months of filing. In contrast, ARIPO Patents are subject to substantive examination and take years to be granted.

How to file

ARIPO and OAPI Patents are filed by submitting a single patent application. However, a SANi Patent  is a combination patent that secures patent rights in South Africa and Nigeria. SANi Patents are only available through the GlobalIPCo online filing system or through S&Z Patent Attorneys.

See more: Comparing SANi, ARIPO and OAPI Patents.

[* The SANi patent is not the creation of a Treaty]

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