ARIPO is the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation for English-speaking Africa. The member countries are Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Please note that protection can alternatively be obtained on an individual basis in any of these countries via a national application in such country.
ARIPO is a member of the International Convention and of the PCT. The requirements for filing a non-PCT regional phase application in ARIPO are as follows:
a. Power of Attorney (simply signed) - can be late filed within 2 months;
b. Description, claims, drawings, and abstract in English - required on the day of filing;
c. Assignment of Invention - can be late filed, no set deadline; and
d. Priority document with verified English translation - can be late filed, within 3 and 6 months, respectively.
The requirements for filing a PCT regional phase application in ARIPO are as follows:
i. Power of Attorney (simply signed) - can be late filed within 2 months;
ii. Description, claims, drawings, and abstract in English - required on the day of filing;
iii. Copy of PCT International advertisement - required on day of filing;
iv. Copy of International Search Report - can be late filed, no set deadline; and
v. Copy of International Preliminary Examination Report - can be late filed, no set deadline.
It is possible to designate the ARIPO member states to which the application applies. In other words, an applicant can decide which states to designate. We estimate that the cost of filing a patent application in ARIPO will be about US$ 1950.00 (excluding translation fees, if necessary). To this must be added designation fees at about US$ 100.00 per member state designated.
Furthermore, please note that for PCT regional phase applications the first renewal fee may be due upon filing (due retrospectively on the first anniversary of the international filing date, where applicable) at a further cost of about US$ 260.00 for the first member state designated plus about US$ 60.00 for each successive member state designated.
If the PCT application claims no priority, the second renewal fee may also be due upon filing (due retrospectively on the second anniversary of the international filing date, where applicable) at a further cost of about US$ 285.00 for the first member state designated plus about US$ 85.00 for each successive member state designated.
Examination must be requested within 3 years of the effective filing date at a cost of about US$ 1400.00.
Once examination has been requested, the application will undergo substantive examination. If official actions are issued in this respect, the costs of responding to same are dependent on the time spent.
Once accepted, grant and publication fees of about US$ 1500.00 are payable together with surcharges for claims in excess of 10 (at about US$ 60.00 per claim) and pages of the specification in excess of 30 (pages 30 to 100 at about US$ 25.00 per page and page 101 onwards at about US$ 35.00 per page).
Please note further that no fees are payable in the individual designated countries upon grant as granted ARIPO patents automatically extend to all designated countries i.e. there is no procedure after grant similar to the validation procedure for a European patent.