Regional patents (ARIPO).

Regional patents

African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) based in Harare, Zimbabwe is empowered by the Harare protocol on patents and industrial designs to grant patents and to register utility models and industrial designs on behalf of contracting states. The following countries are the contracting states to the protocol: Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Sierra Leone.

Applications for the grant of patents or the registration of utility models and industrial designs may be filed either directly with the ARIPO office or with the industrial property office of a contracting state. The application is subject to payment of the prescribed fees.

An applicant may be represented by an attorney, agent or legal practitioner who has the right to represent applicants before the industrial property office of any Contracting State. Where an application is filed directly with the ARIPO Office but the applicant’s ordinary residence or principal place of business is not situated in the host country of the Office; or an application is filed with the industrial property office of a Contracting State by an applicant whose ordinary residence or principal place of business is not situate in a Contracting State, the applicant should be represented by an agent.

Receiving office

The Institute acts as a receiving Office where an regional application is filed with it by a national or a resident of Kenya. A regional application filed with the Institute as the receiving office under the Protocol should be in triplicate; be in English; and be accompanied by the transmittal fee.

A patent, in respect of which Kenya is a designated state, granted by ARIPO by virtue of the ARIPO Protocol has the same effect in Kenya as a patent granted under the Act except where the Managing Director communicates to ARIPO, in respect of the application thereof, a decision in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol that if a patent is granted by ARIPO, that patent shall have no effect in Kenya.

Conversion of refused ARIPO application.

A regional application in which Kenya is designated and that has been refused by the Secretariat of ARIPO may, on request, be treated as an application under the Act if the Secretariat of ARIPO transmits to the Institute -

  1. a request made by the applicant to the Secretariat of ARIPO that the application be treated, in Kenya, as an application under Kenyan law; and
  2. a copy of the files relating to the application.

A request to have a regional application treated as an application under the Act must be in Form IP 15. The date of filing, for the purposes of the treatment of a regional application as a national application, shall be the date of filing of the regional application under the ARIPO Protocol.

For more information on ARIPO visit their website.


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