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October 15, 2012 Vol. 67 No. 18 Back to Bulletin Main Page

INTA Launches “Africa Rising” Initiative


Through its Trademark Office Practices Committee’s OAPI/ARIPO Subcommittee, INTA is launching a new initiative, “Africa Rising,” to highlight the value of trademarks and their protection in Africa, as well as the Association’s activities that focus on this increasingly important arena in global commerce.

INTA’s efforts over the years to develop its presence in Africa have focused on building strong relationships with the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), which is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), which is headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe. These two regional systems, which together comprise 34 African jurisdictions, were established to promote cooperation and coordination among African states in harmonizing their intellectual property laws, practices and procedures.

In the mid-1990s, INTA established the OAPI/ARIPO Subcommittee to assist these regional systems in their efforts to promote economic development through improving trademark registration and protection. For almost two decades the Association has been instrumental in the effort to achieve this goal, providing advice, recommendations and assistance to OAPI and ARIPO in amending their treaties and procedures and encouraging other African countries to join these regional systems. Reflecting the value of INTA’s contribution, both OAPI and ARIPO have joined INTA, participate in the Subcommittee’s work and have entered into cooperative agreements with the Association.

Given its sole focus on Africa, the OAPI/ARIPO Subcommittee is taking the lead in raising the awareness of INTA members about African trademark systems, not only at the regional level but at the national level as well. The Subcommittee also will reach out to other parts of INTA active in policy development (anticounterfeiting/legislation/nontraditional and well-known marks), education and publishing in order to help coordinate INTA activities in Africa.

Africa Rising is an exciting opportunity for INTA members to learn more about new opportunities as Africa’s importance to the world economy increases, and to become engaged in INTA’s activities on the continent. For more information, please contact the chair of the OAPI/ARIPO Subcommittee, Brenda Kahari, at bwkaharilaw@aol.com, or Bruce MacPherson, INTA’s Director of External Relations, at bmacpherson@inta.org.
 

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2012 International Trademark Association