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Former OAPI head accused of wrongdoing while in office; court reverses suspensions related to anti-Madrid collective
The former director general of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI), Paulin Edou Edou, has been accused of signing his own accreditation to be an OAPI trademark agent while still in office, World Trademark Review understands. The allegation surfaced in the same week that OAPI’s High Commission of Appeal annulled a 2016 decision by Edou Edou which suspended two IP attorneys due to their suspected involvement with a group protesting OAPI’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.
The African Intellectual Property Office (OAPI) has launched a new programme in an ongoing effort to introduce and expand geographical indications (GIs) across its 17 member states. This is the first major project from OAPI’s new director general and could represent a significant step forward in the ability to register GIs in Africa.
Exclusive survey finds OAPI agents broadly optimistic but concerns raised over frequent errors, slow examinations and soaring trade in fakes
An independent survey conducted by World Trademark Review has assessed the sentiment of agents accredited by the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) and feedback was decidedly mixed. While agents were broadly positive about a number of aspects of the office’s operations, there were a number of concerns voiced about the speed of examinations, frequent errors made on official documentation and a lack of English-speaking staff with OAPI also urged to help tackle the escalating counterfeiting problem in the region.
OAPI in “period of transition” as new director general appointed; anti-Madrid collective “goes into hiding”
The African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) has confirmed to World Trademark Review that its director general, Paulin Edou Edou, will be leaving at the end of July, with his successor beginning in August. This comes as the collective formed to challenge OAPI’s accession to the Madrid Protocol disbands due to a fear of being banned from IP practice, although a former member reveals that it may regroup later in the year.
The African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) held its first annual Brand Awards recently, in which cash prizes and trademark filing vouchers were given to local brands judged to be distinctive. Talking to World Trademark Review, OAPI’s director of legal affairs and cooperation, Maurice Batanga, says that the initiative has proved effective and encourages other IP offices to consider a similar approach to promote innovative use of trademarks.
OAPI suspends law firm; suspended agent alleges ‘dictatorship’ OAPI is stifling anti-Madrid Protocol sentiment
The African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) has suspended two IP attorneys in Cameroon, and in turn prohibited parties from using their law firm for any IP services in proceedings before it, in what one of the lawyers contends is a continuation of a bitter battle between the organisation and a group of agents who claim that its accession to the Madrid Protocol was implemented illegally.
The continuing tension between the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) and accredited agents in the region who oppose its recent accession to the Madrid Protocol shows no sign of abating.
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