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Welcome to the Ekeme Lysaght SARL Website

Ekeme Lysaght SARL (formerly Cabinet J. Ekeme) is one of the best-known, and longest-standing practices in Cameroon specialising in intellectual property registration and maintenance, and is situated in Yaoundé, within easy reach of OAPI's headquarters. Over more than 30 years, an excellent working relationship has been established and maintained with OAPI's officials, and a proactive and professional approach has earned the firm a reputation as one of OAPI's leading agents.

The firm was originally established in 1978 as Cabinet J. Ekeme by Mme Jacqueline Ekeme who took over the business of Mr. Marcel Weber, in partnership with Lysaght. In 2011, the business was transformed into a private limited company to enable Isabelle Ekeme to practice as an OAPI agent alongside her mother. This opportunity was also taken to change the name to Ekeme Lysaght SARL, to reflect the longstanding partnership with Lysaght.

Ekeme Lysaght SARL operates in an exclusive arrangement with Lysaght., a firm specialising in Intellectual Property Registration in the developing countries, with a worldwide client base and international reputation in this field. The business relationship with clients is managed by Lysaght. from Jersey , Channel Islands, where the infrastructure and communication systems are more reliable, saving clients time and providing the added benefit of Lysaght's extensive experience of working in the developing world.

Services We Offer

A Map of OAPI Trade Mark, Patent, Utility Model and Design registration
Trade Mark and Design renewal
Patent and Utility Model annuity payments
Recordal of changes of proprietor's name, address, and legal status
Recordal of mergers and assignments
Recordal of licences
Searches
Oppositions
Infringement and cancellation actions
Intellectual Property audit services

An OAPI registration automatically covers all member countries :-

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Comoro Islands, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal; and Togo.

Staff

The Ekeme Lysaght SARL Team

Left-to-right: Isabelle EKEME MBOME, Henriette TOMI, Marie-Claire ASSANGO, Jacqueline EKEME, Marie-Paule ELEMA Anselme ETOUMAM , Soel NGABA , Irène Flore ASSANGO.

Proprietor Mme Jacqueline EKEME is assisted by two lawyers and seven support staff. Click here for further details.

Ekeme Lysaght SARL works in close liaison with a team of OAPI specialists at Lysaght. Click here for further details.

Fees & Enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact Lysaght. admin@lysaght .co.uk, or click here for our full contact details.

If your query relates to a scale of fees or specific information for a given jurisdiction, please feel free to request this using either our Scales of Fees or Information Order Form.

Links

Ekeme Lysaght SARL is a member of the Association of Accredited Agents of the African Intellectual Property Organization. Please click below for a link to their web-site.

Association of Accredited Agents of the African Intellectual Property Organization / Association des Mandataires Agrées auprès de l'Organisation Africaine de la Propriété intellectuelle

Please click below for a link to OAPI's web-site.

African Intellectual Property Organization / Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle

Please click below for a link to ANOR's web-site.

Standards and Quality Agency / Agence des Normes et de la Qualité

News

OAPI - VISITE MAITRE BADGI

Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght SARL a eu le plaisir de recevoir, au sein de ses bureaux, Maitre BADGI, Avocat senegalais et Mandataire agree aupres de l'Organisation africaine de la propriete intellectuelle (OAPI), de passage a Yaounde.

Accueillie par la Directrice, Isabelle Ekeme epse MBOME, cette visite de courtoisie aura ete l'occasion de lui presenter l'equipe du Cabinet, et d'echanger avec lui sur la situation des Mandataires.

31st October 2018

OAPI - Ambition Africa 2018

Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght est tres fier d'avoir participe au Ambition Africa 2018 qui se tenait au Ministere francais de l'economie et des finances, a Paris - Bercy les 22 et 23 Octobre 2018.

Entre ateliers thematiques, animes par des experts de haut rang, et echanges en B2B, Ambition Africa a ete un grand moment de decouvertes et de rencontres.

Surtout, il aura ete l'occasion de se rendre compte du grand potentiel business avec l'Afrique, dont l'un des enjeux majeurs pour les pays africains sera de se saisir des opportunites offertes par la propriete intellectuelle.

23rd October 2018

OAPI - 19EME JOURNEE AFRICAINE DE LA TECHNOLOGIE ET DE LA PROPRIETE INTELLECTUELLE

19EME JOURNEE AFRICAINE DE LA TECHNOLOGIE ET DE LA PROPRIETE INTELLECTUELLE

Le 13 septembre 2018, les Etats membres de l'espace OAPI ont celebre la 19eme edition de la journee africaine de la technologie et de la propriete intellectuelle, placee sous le theme : "l'invention, moteur de developpement industriel".

A cette occasion, le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght a pris part a la conference-debat organisee au siege de l'OAPI a Yaounde, au sujet de "La problematique de l'examen quant au fond des inventions dans l'espace OAPI : Experience de l'Office Marocain de la Propriete Industrielle et Commerciale (OMPIC)".

Cette conference-debat presidee par le Directeur general de l'OAPI, Monsieur Denis L. BOUHOUSSOU, en presence de plusieurs personnalites et invites speciaux notamment Monsieur Mohamed TAHIRI, Examinateur des Brevets a l'OMPIC, s'inscrivait egalement dans le cadre du plan strategique 2018 - 2022 adopte par le Conseil d'administration de l'OAPI, qui vise entre autres l'introduction d'un examen au fond des demandes de Brevets d'invention.

En effet, l'examen substantiel des inventions pour l'obtention d'un Brevet a l'OAPI n'etant pas encore effectif, il etait interessant, pour les mandataires, chercheurs, personnel et examinateurs de l'OAPI, de decouvrir l'experience marocaine en la matiere, tant l'examen au fond devrait represente pour les inventeurs africains un gage de qualite, de valorisation et de competitivite des Brevets qui leurs seront delivres.

Concernant l'exemple marocain, on retiendra l'immense travail accompli depuis plus de 10 ans, lequel necessita de mettre en oeuvre des moyens considerables en termes de ressources humaines, de formations, d'adoption de normes et d'outils de travail adequats, ce qui nous laisse entrevoir le chemin qu'il reste a parcourir a l'OAPI.

13th September 2018

OAPI - AFTERWORK BUSINESS BY ECAM - EDITION 2

Jeudi 24 mai 2018 a Douala - Represente par Soel NGABA, le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght a participe a la 2e Edition des rencontres AfterWork Business by Ecam Patronat. Entre partage d'experience avec le Dr. FANSI Thedoret-Marie (President Directeur General du GroupeCible), decouverte de "BantouChocolate", jeune entreprise Camerounaise produisant du Chocolat MadeInCameroun, astuces pour repondre efficacement pour repondre a un appel d'offre donnees par l'expert M. NYOUNAI NYOUNAI (DG Du Cabinet ALPAGES), ce fut un grand moment d'echanges, de motivation, de reseautage et de detente pour les 150 participants enregistres.


24th May 2018

OAPI - CEREMONIE OFFICIELLE DE TRANSMISSION DU LOGO IGP DE L'OAPI

Represente par sa directrice, Isabelle Ekeme epse MBOME, le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght SARL a participe a la ceremonie de transmission officielle du logo dedie a l'etiquetage des produits labellises Indications Geographiques Protegees (IGP) a l'Organisation africaine de la propriete intellectuelle (OAPI).

En presence de l'Agence francaise pour le developpement (AFD), du Ministere (camerounais) des mines, de l'industrie et developpement technologique (MINMIDT), et du Ministere (camerounais) de l'agriculture (MINADER), le logo des IGP a fait son entree solennelle ce mardi 08 mai 2018.

Cree pour lutter contre la concurrence deloyale et la contrefacon, le logo IGP s'apparente a une marque collective ou a une marque de certification : Un signe de qualite et de valorisation d'un produit lie a son origine.

Aujourd'hui transmis par l'OAPI aux producteurs du poivre de Penja et du miel d'OKU, il reste a venir la mise en route du Centre d'agreage et de conditionnement.

8th May 2018

OAPI - PREMIERE SESSION DE E-TRAINIG BY ECAM PATRONAT A DOUALA

"Cessez de vendre, faites acheter !" Voila ce que retient le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght SARL de la premiere session de E-training by Ecam Patronat qui s'est tenue le Jeudi 19 avril 2018 a Douala.
Cette session avait pour theme "Que faire lorsque votre prospect vous dit : J'ai deja un fournisseur ?". Elle etait animee par Bernard Guevorts, Consultant et formateur international (MBway management & Business School by IPAC).
Un evenement plein de sens surtout lorsque l'on sait que le metier de la vente etant a la fois l'un des plus difficiles et des plus importants pour une entreprise, le developpement de competences commerciales devient une preoccupation majeure. Un evenement qui s'adresse egalement a tous peu importe qu'il s'agisse de vendre une expertise ou un produit.

19th April 2018

OAPI - PREMIERE EDITION DE LA FOIRE INTERNATIONALE DU COMMERCE ET DES AFFAIRES (FIAC) 2018 A DOUALA

Represente par Isabelle Ekeme epse MBOME et Soel NGABA, Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght SARL a participe a la premiere edition de la Foire Internationale des Affaires et du Commerce (FIAC) qui s'est tenue a Douala au complexe CAMTEL - Bepanda du 24 mars au 8 avril 2018.

Le Cabinet est notamment intervenu, au cote du Ministere du Commerce, de l'Agence des Normes et de la Qualite (ANOR) et du Guichet Unique du commerce exterieure, lors des debats organises les mardi 27 et mercredi 28 mars 2018. Ses deux interventions portaient respectivement sur "la propriete intellectuelle dans les negociations de la Zone de Libre-Echange Continentale" et "Libre circulation des marchandises et contrefacon".






8th April 2018

OAPI - LA PARTICIPATION DU CABINET EKEME LYSAGHT AUX TRAVAUX DE L'AGENCE DES NORMES ET DE LA QUALITE (ANOR)

Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght SARL est heureux de devenir un des partenaires privilegies de l'Agence (camerounaise) des normes et de la qualite (ANOR) dans le cadre de l'elaboration de ses normes. Depuis le 09 mars 2018, il a ete admis, par decision no. 000041/2018/ANOR/DG/DN/SDPHN/CAJ/a, comme membre du Comite Technique de normalisation no. 48 portant sur : "Technologie et produits alimentaires". Le Cabinet y sera represente par sa Directrice Technique, Isabelle Ekeme epse MBOME.

9th March 2018

OAPI - PREMIERE EDITION DU SEMINAIRE INTERNATIONAL POUR FAIRE DES AFFAIRES AVEC LE CANADA A DOUALA (SIFAC)

Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght SARL a participe a la premiere edition du seminaire international pour faire des affaires avec le Canada (SIFAC) qui s'est tenu du 1er au 2 mars 2018 a l'Hotel Sawa de Douala. Plus encore, le Cabinet est intervenu, par la voix de son responsable Conseil et Audit de la propriete intellectuelle Soel NGABA, sous le theme : " La propriete intellectuelle, un atout pour faire des affaires".

Presente par la Foire africaine de Montreal, le SIFAC est un instrument strategique de promotion des affaires et des partenariats entre l'Afrique et le Canada. Au cours du seminaire, plusieurs thematiques ont ete abordees afin de permettre aux participants :

- De comprendre les enjeux de partenariats techniques et scientifiques, des relations d'affaires et de cooperation entre le Cameroun et le Canada ;
- De prendre connaissance des secteurs d'activites porteurs et des projets d'investissements prioritaires dans le cadre des relations de partenariats entre le Canada et le Cameroun ;
- De comprendre les mecanismes de financement des projets de la part des institutions financieres canadiennes et de leurs partenaires financiers internationaux ;
- De comprendre le mode d'action et les mecanismes d'intervention des ONG canadiennes en Afrique.

2nd March 2018

OAPI - Oapi Visit 2018

Steve Le Feuvre (MD) and Caroline van Dijk are presently in Yaounde, Cameroon visiting our office Ekeme Lysaght Sarl and spending time with Isabelle EKEME MBOME of Ekeme Lysaght, discussing current issues with the technical officials at OAPI. Later in the week they will also visit other local agents, to move some matters forward that have been discussed with OAPI.

21st February 2018

OAPI - SIXIEME EDITION DE LA JOURNEE D'EXCELLENCE DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE ET DE L'INNOVATION AU CAMEROUN (JERSIC)

Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght s'est rendu a la sixieme edition de la journee d'excellence de la recherche scientifique et de l'innovation au Cameroun (JERSIC).

Les JERSIC s'inscrivent en droite ligne des activites de promotion, de vulgarisation et de valorisation des resultats acquis par les chercheurs. Ces activites sont menees par le gouvernement camerounais via son ministere de la recherche scientifique et de l'innovation (MINRESI). Elles ont pour but de faire connaitre au grand public les travaux menes par toutes les structures de recherche publics et privees ainsi que les chercheurs independants ou isoles. C'est egalement le lieu pour les uns et les autres de se connaitre et de nouer des relations de partenariat entre chercheurs d'une part, et acteurs economiques d'autre part.

La sixieme edition des JERSIC s'est tenu a l'Hotel de ville de Yaounde DU 19 au 21 fevrier 2018. L'evenement avait pour theme : "Recherche scientifique et innovation : outils strategiques pour l'entreprise et les transformations socio-economiques".


21st February 2018

OAPI - LA C4D "LA COMMUNICATION POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT"

Le Cabinet Ekeme Lysaght s'est rendu a la premiere edition du Salon denomme C4D "communication pour le developpement" qui a eu lieu le 15 fevrier 2018 a l'hotel Hilton de Yaounde sous le theme : "Le financement de la C4D par les cooperations bilaterales et multilaterales".

La C4D est un salon professionnel annuel dedie aux acteurs de la communication pour le developpement (C4D). L'objectif de ce Salon etait de mettre en place une plateforme nationale d'echange, de partage et de promotion de bonnes pratiques en matiere de communication pour le developpement au Cameroun.

Trois phases importantes ont marque ce Salon : la presentation de cinq "Best practices 2017" en matiere de C4D au Cameroun ; une table ronde sur la thematique du financement de la C4D ; la remise des awards C4D 2018 decernes aux "Best practices" avec en prime la remise du Grand prix C4D.Com 2018.

15th February 2018

OAPI - New Director-General

Dr Denis Loukou Bohoussou (from Cote d'Ivoire) is the new Director-General of the African Organization for Intellectual Property (OAPI), following his installation ceremony on 31st July 2017 at OAPI's headquarters in Yaounde, Cameroon. Dr Bohoussou will serve a five-year term and replaces Dr Paulin Edou Edou (of Gabon) who has been OAPI's Director-General for the past ten years.

Mr Jean-Baptiste Wago (from the Central African Republic) becomes the new Deputy Director-General, and Mr Toure Serigne Momar Nasir (from Senegal) is the Financial Controller.

Ekeme Lysaght SARL was represented at the ceremony, and looks forward to working with the new management team at OAPI, and continuing an excellent working relationship with OAPI that extends back over 40 years.

The incoming and outgoing OAPI management teams

Third from left: Dr Denis Loukou Bohoussou, the new Director-General of OAPI;
Third from right: Dr Paulin Edou Edou, the outgoing Director-General of OAPI.



The installation ceremony was presided over by Mr. Abdou Maman (centre), Minister of Industry of the Republic of Niger and Chairman-in-Office of the Administrative Council of OAPI.

8th August 2017

OAPI - Voluntary filing of divisional patent applications

There has been a recent change in practice at OAPI regarding the filing of voluntary divisional patent applications.

An announcement was made by OAPI on the 20th July 2017, to the effect that requests for voluntary divisional patent applications must be made within the 30-month term provided for under the PCT for entry into the regional phase. This effectively means that applicants are expected to decide at the time of PCT regional phase entry whether or not they also wish to file any voluntary divisional applications, which of course is not generally practicable.

We do not fully agree with OAPI's interpretation of the Bangui Accord in this regard. Article 21 of the Bangui Accord specifies that "the applicant may amend the claims, the description, the drawings and the abstract prior to grant". We might extrapolate from this Article (although it is not explicitly stated as such) that a voluntary divisional application must similarly be filed merely prior to the grant of the parent patent.

The law does expressly provide that OAPI should examine all applications for unity of invention, and states that an application "shall be restricted to a single principal subject". If it is found that more than one invention is disclosed, Article 24 of the Bangui Accord provides that appropriate amendments may be made and/or divisional application(s) filed, within six months from notification by OAPI. It therefore appears that OAPI will allow applicants to file divisional applications in response to non-unity objections (within six months from the notification of said objections), but if the applicant wishes to file a voluntary divisional application, this must be done within the 30-month deadline for entry into the regional phase of a PCT application.

We have presented arguments to OAPI to the effect that this 30-month deadline for voluntary divisionals is not workable in practice, and we are hopeful that OAPI will re-evaluate their standpoint on this issue. However, in the meantime, the fate of existing divisional applications that were filed outside of this deadline unfortunately remains uncertain at this time.

We will, of course, post further news as soon as there have been any developments in this matter.

4th August 2017

OAPI - Visit 2016

Steve Le Feuvre (Managing Director) and Caroline van Dijk (Consultant) are currently in Yaounde, Cameroon visiting our local office Ekeme Lysaght Sarl, and also having meetings with OAPI, local clients and associates. Joined by Isabelle Ekeme, this morning they had the pleasure of meeting with Dr Paulin Edou Edou (Director General, OAPI). The meeting was extremely fruitful with many different subjects being discussed, and particularly focusing on provision, and enforcement, of intellectual property rights for clients of Lysaght in the seventeen countries of OAPI.

They also discussed the importance of the upcoming inaugural INTA Africa Forum which will take place in Cape Town on 1st & 2nd September 2016. Entitled "Building Africa with Brands", this is the first conference to be organised by INTA in Africa, and it is hoped that many brand owners in Africa, as well as Government officials and agents from all over Africa, will attend this landmark event.

There followed a very worthwhile two hour meeting with OAPI technical officials and staff, chaired by M. Maurice Batanga (Director of Legal Affairs and Cooperation, OAPI), where more detailed discussions took place including the subjects raised with the Director General previously. After the meeting, the delegation was shown around the very impressive OAPI headquarters building, with its very modern and state of the art facilities befitting of Africa's premier intellectual property office.

Photo attached:

L-R: Isabelle Ekeme, Caroline van Dijk, Dr Paulin Edou Edou, Steve Le Feuvre, Maurice Batanga.

3rd February 2016

OAPI - Joins the Madrid Protocol

On 5 December 2014, OAPI filed the instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with WIPO. The Madrid Protocol is due to enter into force on 5 March 2015.

However, OAPI has not amended its trade mark law to recognise International Registrations, and it is unlikely to do so before 5 March 2015. Until the law is amended, we have to advise against relying on International Registrations designating OAPI, as they will not be enforceable until the law changes to recognise such trade marks.

Further information will be posted as and when it becomes available.

5th December 2014

OAPI - New format for patent certificates and fascicules

We write to report that the format of OAPI patent certificates of registration has been changed. OAPI has recently undertaken a full review of the presentation of their official documents, and inter alia, OAPI has now finalised the new format of certificates of registration for patent cases. Such certificates are therefore beginning to issue in this new format, usually accompanied by the fascicule (the Letters Patent) on a CD-ROM. Previously, fascicules were issued in paper format, and it would often take up to 18 months after the issuance of a certificate of registration for the corresponding fascicule to be issued.

5th August 2014

OAPI - Plant variety protection

OAPI has acceded to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of 2 December 1961, as revised at Geneva on 10 November 1972, on 23 October 1978 and on 19 March 1991.

This Convention will enter into force with respect to OAPI on 10 July 2014, and on that date, OAPI will become a member of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants as founded by the International Convention.

23rd June 2014

OAPI - Extension of patent rights to the Comoro Islands

As you may be aware, the Union of the Comoros becomes a full member of OAPI as of 25 May 2013, so bringing the total number of member states to seventeen. Until now, the Comoro Islands has had no IP laws, and those seeking to protect their rights in this jurisdiction could only do so by means of publishing a Cautionary Notice. With effect from 25 May 2013, all trade marks, patents, designs, utility models and plant varieties filed with OAPI on or after that date will have full force and effect in the Comoro Islands.

This article concerns only the matter of patent rights in the Comoros. For further information regarding trade mark or designs rights, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The accession of the Comoros to OAPI with effect from 25 May 2013 means that all local OAPI patent applications, and all PCT applications entering the regional phase in OAPI, will automatically include the Comoro Islands with effect from 25 May 2013. A senior official at OAPI has advised us that not only will all PCT international applications filed on or after that date and which enter into the regional phase at OAPI at 30 months from their earliest priority date cover the Comoro Islands, but so will PCT applications which enter the regional phase in OAPI on or after 25 May 2013 (notwithstanding that the Comoros might not have been an OAPI member state at the time of filing such international phase applications). Please note that the Comoro Islands has been a member of the PCT in its own right since 3 April 2005, notwithstanding its lack of IP laws.

As far as existing patent rights are concerned, it has now been confirmed to us by OAPI that they will allow any current and valid OAPI patent to be extended to cover this new member state, whether or not the Comoro Islands was designated in the originating patent application, by virtue of the OAPI Extension Regulation. This Extension Regulation does not apply to pending patent applications, but only to granted registrations. Therefore, an application for extension of an OAPI right to the Comoros can be only be made once the patent has been granted, and is required only for patent applications (including PCT regional phase applications) filed before 25 May 2013.

The application for extension should preferably be filed within 20 months of the date of accession of the Comoros to OAPI, i.e. before 25 January 2015, although the extension application may in fact be filed at any time upon payment of a late fine. In order to apply for extension, we will require:

1) A Power of Attorney, simply signed by the applicant;
2) A copy of the specification and claims of the granted patent, if we do not already have the same;
3) A copy of the certificate of registration, if we do not already have the same;
4) If appropriate, a copy of any certificate(s) of recordal of changes to the proprietor's details.

Please also bear in mind that a similar situation arises in respect of Equatorial Guinea (which joined OAPI on 23 November 2000) and Guinea Bissau (which joined OAPI on 8 July 1998). It is technically also still possible to extend existing OAPI patent rights to these states by filing an application for extension, before expiry of the relevant patent.

If you would like further details about any of the above matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.

22nd May 2013

OAPI - The Comoro Islands join from 25 May 2013

OAPI has announced that the Comoro Islands ratified the Bangui Accord on 25 March 2013. The Union of the Comoros will become a full member of OAPI as of 25 May 2013, bringing the total number of member states to seventeen.

Up until now, the Comoro Islands has had no IP laws, and those seeking to protect their rights in this jurisdiction could only do so by means of publishing a Cautionary Notice. With effect from 25 May 2013, all trade marks, patents, designs, utility models and plant varieties filed with OAPI on or after that date will have full force and effect in the Comoro Islands. The designation of OAPI in the international phase of PCT applications will include the Comoro Islands with effect from 25 May 2013, such that PCT applications filed on or after that date and which enter into the regional phase at OAPI at thirty months from their earliest priority date will cover the Comoro Islands. Please note, however, that the Comoro Islands has been a member of the PCT in its own right since 3 April 2005, notwithstanding its lack of IP laws. We assume that this jurisdiction will close off its national route once it becomes a member of OAPI. We are therefore contacting OAPI to ascertain how they will treat PCT applications which have been filed to date and in which the Comoro Islands was included as a national designation, and specifically to ascertain whether OAPI will agree to recognise the Comoro Islands as being covered by an OAPI regional phase application deriving from any such PCT application.

In respect of other existing OAPI registrations filed prior to 25 May 2013, extension to the Comoro Islands will take place automatically on their next renewal after 25 May 2013 and the extension of rights will be effective from the date of renewal. For those proprietors wishing to extend their existing OAPI rights to the Comoro Islands before these rights become due for renewal, it will be possible to do so in accordance with the provisions of the Extension Regulation.

If you would like further details about the extension of existing OAPI registrations to the Comoro Islands prior to their renewal, or of the procedures involved in obtaining rights in OAPI, please do not hesitate to contact us.

23rd April 2013

OAPI - Important news concerning our Cameroon office

We are pleased to announce the transformation of our OAPI (Cameroon) office 'Cabinet Ekeme' into 'Ekeme Lysaght SARL'.

This new name reflects the ongoing partnership between Lysaght & Co. and Cabinet Ekeme that has been in existence for more than 30 years, and the change in the legal structure of the Cameroon office enables Isabelle Ekeme to practise as an OAPI agent alongside her mother Jacqueline. Isabelle passed the OAPI qualifying exams in 2007 and has recently completed her Masters Degree in Intellectual Property.

Over the years, the combined skills and experience of our directors and staff in the Cameroon and Jersey, supported by state-of-the-art technology and computerised systems in our Jersey office, has earned us a strong reputation in the field of OAPI Intellectual Property, and a sizeable proportion of overall OAPI patent, design and trade mark matters is consequently handled by our offices. This reputation, combined with the trust and respect of the OAPI officials that we have built up over the years, as well as our active involvement in the overhaul and upkeep of the OAPI laws, enables us to work proactively with OAPI for the long-term benefit of our clients.

We look forward to being of continued service to our clients (both existing and new) and would be pleased to assist you with your enquiries. Should you wish to receive our current scale of fees for OAPI trade mark, patent and design work, please let us know.

6th January 2012

OAPI - Reduction in our patent charges

We are very pleased to announce that, with effect from 15 July 2009, our charges for the filing and prosecution of patent applications in the jurisdiction of OAPI have been greatly simplified and reduced.

Our revised scale of fees is available for download from our web-site, via the "client login" option on our navigation sidebar. If you already benefit from a discount on our professional fees, please note that this is not included in the scale available as standard on our web-site, but we would be pleased to send you a discounted version for your records if you require one. If you do not yet benefit from our discounted rates, but wish to find out more about how you can qualify for such a discount, please do not hesitate to contact us.

As you may be aware, we have been filing applications for patents, trade marks and designs at OAPI in association with our Cameroon office, Cabinet Ekeme, for over 30 years. We are one of the leading practitioners in this area and play an active role in encouraging the OAPI Registry to improve its efficiency and provide foreign proprietors with the protection that they require. We have decided that, whilst the structure of the official fees at OAPI for patents is still rather complex and depends largely on the number of pages of the patent specification, the number of claims and the number of priority claims, it will be of significant benefit to our clients to simplify and reduce our own professional fees in this regard. We will therefore, from now on, make a standard professional charge for filing patent applications, notwithstanding the above-mentioned variables. This standardisation will serve to reduce the total cost to our clients of filing new patent applications at OAPI, and will therefore make our prices even more competitive in this jurisdiction.

We very much hope that this move will enable the jurisdiction of OAPI, which offers a centralised registration system for applicants in its sixteen member states, to become a more attractive jurisdiction to our clients when seeking patent protection around the world.

For further information, please contact us by e-mail at admin@lysaght.co.uk.

For clients interested in filing trade mark and/or design applications at OAPI, we would also be pleased to assist you. Again, please contact us by e-mail at admin@lysaght.co.uk for our latest scale of fees.

15th July 2009

OAPI - Accession to the Hague Agreement

The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) acceded to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs on 16 June 2008, and its accession will become effective as from 16 September 2008.

The Hague System now has a total number of 49 contracting parties covering 70 states, and the Geneva Act has effect in 27 of these contracting parties covering 61 states.

20th June 2008

OAPI - Extension of rights to new territories

We wish to draw your attention to an important change in OAPI practice regarding the extension of rights to new territories.

An OAPI registration covers those territories that are members of OAPI at the time of registration. Following the introduction of the Extension Regulation on 4 December 1998, it became possible to extend rights to territories that join OAPI subsequently, by filing an application for extension.

On 1 January 2008 the Extension Regulation was amended to introduce the concept of automatic extension on renewal. The intention of the amendment is to confirm that all trade marks renewed after 4 December 1998 extend automatically to the countries that are members of OAPI at the time of renewal, effective from the date of renewal.

As a consequence of this amendment, OAPI is now rejecting applications for extension to territories which it considers are already protected as a result of a prior renewal. However, it still remains possible to apply for extension of rights to a new country at any time before the renewal of the OAPI right.

Although this new interpretation of the law is a practical and cost-effective solution to the extension of rights to new OAPI countries, we are concerned that this regulatory amendment may be open to challenge for being in conflict with the law, which requires an extension application to be filed in order to extend existing OAPI registrations to new jurisdictions, and makes no mention of automatic extension on renewal.

A second issue is the wording of the amendment itself. The amendment is intended to take retroactive effect and apply to all renewals filed since the Extension Regulation came into effect on 4 December 1998. However, this is not clear from the wording of the amendment, which on strict interpretation implies that only renewals filed after 1 January 2008 extend automatically to all the OAPI states.

We have discussed our concerns with OAPI, who have maintained their position. In OAPI's view the Extension Regulation and its subsequent amendment does not conflict with the law, but serves to clarify a matter over which the law itself silent. The fact that the law provides for the filing of extension applications does not preclude automatic extension on renewal, but gives IP owners the option of applying for extension of rights if they wish, before renewal takes place.

In conclusion, although we have reservations about the legal basis for this new application of the law, we believe that in practice it is most unlikely that a court would fail to support OAPI's change in procedure. Furthermore, OAPI have confirmed that the Bangui Accord is due to be revised in the next two years and that any inconsistencies will then be rectified.

27th March 2008

OAPI - Guinea - Validity of Renewals filed after 4 December 1998

Guinea joined OAPI on 30 January 1990 and since that date, all new applications filed at OAPI extend automatically to Guinea and it has no longer been possible to file fresh trade mark applications at the Guinea Registry. However, the Guinea Registry has continued to operate for the purpose of maintaining existing Guinea registrations.

On 4 December 1998, the OAPI Extension Regulation came into force which enables the owners of OAPI trade marks to extend their rights to new countries that join OAPI, including (retroactively), Guinea. This Regulation further provides that Trade Mark Offices of new countries joining OAPI are required to transfer all their files to OAPI, and that such rights should thereafter be maintained at OAPI. However, Guinea has not complied with this requirement and has continued to renew its own trade marks.

We have for some time been trying to obtain clarification from OAPI regarding the legality of this situation. During a recent meeting with the OAPI Officials it was indicated that it is up to Guinea to take the appropriate steps to comply with the provisions of the Extension Regulation and that OAPI has no influence over this. Furthermore, in OAPI's opinion, regardless of whether Guinea complies with the Extension Regulation, in terms of the Regulation the validity of renewal certificates issued by the Guinea Registry for renewals due after 4 December 1998, is open to challenge.

The OAPI Officials are investigating what can be done to regularise this situation, but until this problem has been resolved, the enforceability of Guinea renewals effected since 4 December 1998 is uncertain, and we recommend that from now on the OAPI route is used to maintain Guinea trade mark rights.

The options are as follows:



  • If there is an existing corresponding OAPI registration filed after 30 January 1990, this automatically covers Guinea, and no further action is required.
  • If there is an existing corresponding OAPI registrations filed before 30 January 1990, this can be extended to Guinea, as well as the other territories that joined OAPI (Mali, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau) - if appropriate.
  • If there is no existing corresponding OAPI registration either:

i) a fresh OAPI application can be filed, which will cover all the OAPI states, including Guinea, from the date of filing.

ii) A currently valid Guinea Registration can be extended to OAPI, maintaining the Guinea prior rights. The cost is 635.00 GBP . Please note, however, that the term of protection granted is the remaining period of the Guinea registration and OAPI renewal fees will be payable on the expiry of the Guinea registration. (Cost 905.00 GBP).

iii) OAPI have verbally indicated that a currently valid Guinea trade mark can be renewed at OAPI when it next falls due, without the requirement to pay an extension fee. (Cost 905.00 GBP).

However in respect of both options ii) and iii) until the necessary amendments have been made to the OAPI Regulations, it is not certain whether OAPI will accept as a valid registration, a Guinea trade mark that has been renewed by the Guinea Registry after 4 December 1998.

5th July 2006