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1. Background

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is an Intergovernmental Organization created in 1976 under the Lusaka Agreement concluded under the auspices of the United National Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Membership of the organization is open to all states members of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The present members of the Organization include 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).

During the period from 2002 to February 2015, ARIPO was using a legacy system for IP Administration work.  The system was a client server based system developed using Visual Basic and running on a Microsoft SQL Server database. The system was being maintained in-house by the ARIPO support team.

In 2013 ARIPO embarked on a project to develop a new IP administration system which was launched in March 2015. The new system is web-based and provides functions for IP work including online filing, online file inspection, online payment, access to online journals and form and fee information download. It also has a module for online electronic data communication with IP systems in the ARIPO member states. 

The software will be handed over to ARIPO by its developers in March 2017. ARIPO invites interested and qualified consultants to submit their proposals for providing technical support for the IP software.

2. Objective of the Assignment

The main objective of this assignment is to provide resources to offer technical support for ARIPO’s IP software.

3. Scope of the work

ARIPO intends to use services provided by the consultants for providing technical support for the IP software.  The work will include tasks such as:

  • Attending to requests for bug fixes and providing new releases and coordinating their testing and deployment at ARIPO
  • Analysis of business requirements and legal frameworks and mapping them to functional requirements to be delivered by the IP system
  • Assistance to ARIPO ICT staff with problem analysis and resolution
  • Training of ARIPO staff in technical and business aspects of the operation of IP system
  • Providing reports on all activities undertaken on the system to ARIPO
  • Provide proper documentation for all the changes effected

Work will typically be carried out off-site, although from time to time the consultants may be requested to work on-site at the ARIPO offices.

4. IP System Features

The IP system is web based and was developed using the Java programming language. It runs on Windows Server and supports SQL Server database. It comes with an extensive set of standard reports.

It comprises of different modules which are:

  • IP Administration – this module has internal functions to effectively manage the entire IP process from filing, reception, formality examination, substantive examination, search, journals, renewals and registration. This module runs on the local servers.
  • Online Service – this module is for the general public, which provides functions including Online Application, e-Payment, Online Journal, Online Docket and Search for Public (IP Digital Library). This module runs on the cloud.
  • Member States module – this module is used to connect ARIPO’s IP Administration system to its member states’ IP Administration System (IPAS), which enables the offices to exchange all forms, application documents and any other notifications online and in real time. This module is installed in the Member States.
  • Electronic Document Management System – this module is used for storing all documents generated or received during the prosecution of IP files. The main objective of this module is to try and eliminate paper records. This module runs on local servers.

5. Required Technical Expertise

For undertaking the assignment the consultants should have the following expertise in their team:

  • A university degree or post graduate degree in information technology or related subject
  • At least 5 years’ experience in the development of software systems, including experience with Intellectual Property ICT systems in Industrial Property Offices, particularly in developing countries. 
  • Thorough understanding of JAVA programming, Crystal Reports, SQL Server and various system development frameworks, XML and related technologies
  • Thorough understanding of Web programming, such as HTML, JSP etc.
  • Thorough understanding of Electronic Document Management Systems
  • Experience in project management
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Understanding of Intellectual Property Rights(Patent, Trade mark, Utility model, Industrial Design) and administration would be a distinctive advantage

6. Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the terms of reference for the assignment
  • Methodology for undertaking the assignment
  • Qualifications and experience of the consultant
  • Consultancy fees

7. Submission of Proposals

Interested Consultants who are legal and eligible are invited to submit their proposals detailing capabilities and experience on or before Friday, January 20, 2017 at 1600 hours. No late submissions will be accepted. Proposals clearly marked “TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR ARIPO IP SOFTWARE” should be addressed to:

The Chairman – ARIPO Tender Board

African regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

11 Natal Road, Belgravia

P O Box 4228

Harare, Zimbabwe

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