Intellectual property law and new technologies

Intellectual Property law in most of West and Central Africa is defined and laid down by the African Intellectual Property Organisation (AIPO) which was created by the Bangui Agreement of March 2, 1977 as revised on February 24, 1999 and December 14, 2015 at Bamako. The AIPO is comprised of 17 member states, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros Islands, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Tchad and Togo. The OAPI zone is a market of 183 million consumers. The seat of the organisation is Yaoundé, Cameroon. While the Bangui Treaty and its annexes & administrative regulations regulate intellectual property law, the collective management of copyright and related rights is entrusted to member states who administer national systems of collecting societies.
AIPO has ratified several intellectual property treaties including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883), the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886), the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs (1925), the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (1958), the Convention Establishing WIPO (1967), the Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970), the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol (1981), the Budapest Treaty on the International Registration of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (1977), the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (1961), the Marrakesh Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights also known as the TRIPS Agreement (1994), the Trademark Registration Treaty (1973), the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (1961), Madrid Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1989).

Dayspring Law Firm provides a variety of intellectual property law services including, but not limited to:

  • Legal Consulting and Advisory Services.
  • Conducting legal research work on IP subject matters, including, patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications, trade names, unfair competition, new plant varieties protection, lay-out designs (topographies ) of integrated circuits and literary and artistic property protection, tort of passing off, criminal infringement of IP rights, etc.
  • Preparing & Filing applications for registration of IP rights subject matters (trademark registration applications, patent prosecution, certificates of addition, utility models, industrial designs, etc).
  • Filing renewals, recordals (recordation), searches, information requests, extensions, corrections, change of agent, etc.
  • Advising clients on the protection and enforcement of their IP rights and IP watch services, involving copyright & related rights, as well as cybersquatting;
    Drafting IP contracts (license & cross-license contracts, technology transfer contracts, joint ownership contracts, software licensing contracts, non-disclosure agreements, transfer & assignment of IP rights agreements, etc.)
  • Litigating IP cases (oppositions, claims of ownership, restorations, appeals, actions for invalidation or nullity, actions for cancellation based on non-use, criminal infringement of IP rights, customs & border measures in case of seizure of counterfeit products, etc.)
    IP Watch, Monitoring & Investigation services (internal market monitoring, online brand abuse reporting, patent abuse reporting, trade fair reporting, etc.).
  • Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (custom protection, etc.) and Alternative Dispute Resolution of IP disputes as counsel and negotiators, mediators-arbitrators.
  • Cybersquatting and Cybercriminality.

Dayspring Law Firm works in synergy with committed partners, legal professionals and corresponding IP lawyers and law firms in the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) zone which is a similar regional intellectual property organisation regrouping 19 member states mostly in North-East, East, West & Southern Africa (Botswana, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). ARIPO’s consumer population is 166 million large. The seat of the organisation is in Harare, Zimbabwe.
ARIPO was established by the Lusaka Agreement of December 9, 1979, completed by the Harare Protocol on Patents & Industrial Designs of April 25, 1984 as amended variously in 1993 to incorporate the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), as amended in 1998 to incorporate the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, and in 2015 (integrating TRIPS, etc.). ARIPO also adopted the Banjul Protocol on Trademarks in 1993 (entered into force in 1997), the Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore in 2010 (which entered into force in 2015), and the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (2015).
In addition to the AIPO & ARIPO areas, Dayspring Law Firm equally helps IP rights holders to protect and enforce their rights in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of South Africa (RSA), Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco. Our IP practice covers Forty Six (46) African countries.