African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

Post of Patent Examiner in Biochemistry

Background of the Organization

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) (hereinafter referred to as “the Organization”), is an intergovernmental Organization, which was established at Lusaka, Zambia, in 1976 by an Agreement concluded under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The Organization was created, inter alia, to promote the development of intellectual property laws appropriate to the needs of its members, establish common services and training schemes, and assist its members in the acquisition and advancement of technology and the advancement of common views on intellectual property matters.

The Organization grants and administers Intellectual Property titles on behalf of the member states and provides Intellectual Property information to its clientele in the form of search services, publications and awareness creation.  Membership of the organisation is open to all states members of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The present members of the Organization are:  Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  (Total:  19 states)

The organs of the organization are:

(a) the Council of Ministers, consisting of ministers who are responsible, in the Member States for the administration of intellectual property matters;

(b) the Administrative Council consisting of heads of offices, in the Member States, dealing with the administration of intellectual property; and

(c) the Secretariat (the Office of ARIPO) headed by the Director General as the principal executive officer of the Organization.

Applications are invited from suitable candidates to be considered for appointment to the post of Patent Examiner in Biochemistry of the Organization, on a fixed-term contract of two years (renewable), the full description of which is as follows:

Principal Duties:

Under the supervision of the Head of Search and Substantive Examination, the Patent Examiner in Biochemistry will carry out the following tasks:

(a) Classify industrial title application files.

(b) Investigate each application to ascertain that the invention is described clearly and in such a way that a skilled person would be able to use it;

(c) Examine the invention from a technical standpoint;

(d) Search through earlier publications, technical literature and online databases of ARIPO and foreign patent specifications to make sure that the application is new;

(e) Consider legal matters affecting acceptability and entitlement to the monopoly claimed by the applicant;

(f) Prepare initial report/s and communicate the results of the search and examination to the applicant or, more usually, a patent attorney;

(g) Make final decisions as to the novelty of the invention, which is written in a final report;

(h) Liaise with applicants/agents to resolve disputed matters

(i) Develop, study and comment on proposals in the field of Biochemistry; 

(j) Undertake missions and awareness promotion on behalf of the organization;

(k) Perform other tasks as will be assigned from time to time.

Qualifications required

• A Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and a minimum of 3 years’ post qualification working experience in the Biochemistry field


• A Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and a minimum of 5 years’ post-qualification working experience in the Biochemistry field

• Ability to work under minimum supervision

• Ability to work as a member of a team

• Good analytical skills

Nationality: To be eligible for appointment, candidates must be nationals of a Member State of the Organization.

Duty Station:  Harare, Zimbabwe

Conditions of Employment:

Conditions of service shall be subject to the ARIPO Staff Rules and Procedures or be determined by the Administrative Council of the Organization.

Salary and allowances on first appointment shall be those applicable to Grade L-3 STEP 1 of the ARIPO salary scales of the professional category.

Base Salary:  US$39,150.00 per annum

Post Adjustment Allowance:  Depending on the rise and fall, in value, of the United States dollar, a post adjustment index which is presently 47.8% of base salary is applied as a cost of living allowance.

Dependency Allowances:  US$900 per year for a dependent child.  Maximum number of children three (3).

Other conditions include:

• Payment of travel and removal expenses,

• Once off Installation grant

• Education grant up to a maximum of three children

• Housing allowance,

• Contributory medical insurance scheme

• Annual leave of 30 working days

• Paid home leave every two years. 

Medical Examination:  The appointment is subject to a satisfactory United Nations type medical examination.

Other Conditions of Service:  Other terms and conditions of service shall be subject to the ARIPO Staff Rules and Procedures or be determined by the Administrative Council of the Organization.

Applications:  Applicants should submit detailed curriculum vitae indicating pertinent personal data, two-passport size photographs and accompanied by certified copies of relevant certificates and names and addresses of two persons from whom references can be obtained. 

Applicants should indicate in their personal data, the following:

i) family name and first names;

ii) date and place of birth;

iii) nationality and detailed present address;

iv) full names, relationship, sex and date of birth of dependents;

v) language abilities both written and spoken;

vi) educational background (main subjects, institutions, diplomas or degrees and marks of merit;

vii) employment record (present or most recent employment, previous employment);

(viii) any other relevant information.

Applications should be sent to:

The Director General

African Regional Intellectual Property Organization

11 Natal Road, Belgravia

P O Box 4228



Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

This vacancy announcement is also available on the ARIPO website

Deadline for submission of Applications: 18 August, 2017.

(Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be accepted and that ARIPO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.