PRESS RELEASE - 6TH SESSION OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE ARIPO PROTOCOLS RELATING TO INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY

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 PRESS RELEASE
 
6TH SESSION OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE ARIPO PROTOCOLS RELATING TO INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY 
 
Harare 09 June 2017 - The African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) will hold the 6th Session of the Working Group on the Improvement of the ARIPO Protocols Relating to Industrial Property from 12 to 13 June 2017 at the ARIPO Headquarters, 11 Natal Road in Harare, Zimbabwe.
 
The Working Group will among other issues discuss amendments to the Banjul Protocol, Harare Protocol and the Swakopmund Protocol. The amendments to the Protocols are to ensure improvement on their use as well as harmonise the Protocols with international treaties. 
 
The Working Group is comprised of the member states, ARIPO Secretariat and users of the Protocols such as Patent Agents, Attorneys and organisations involved in Intellectual Property from the 19 ARIPO member states. 
 
The ARIPO member states party to the Lusaka Agreement include: Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
The Working Group will provide users with a chance to give their views and participate in the amendments to the Protocols. ARIPO also provides amendments drawn from ongoing research on IP laws and interaction at the international level on IP matters. This ensures the Protocols conform to the international standards.  
 
At the conclusion of the meeting, recommendations agreed on will be submitted to the Technical Committee on Industrial Property which will consider the agreed proposals and recommend them to the ARIPO Administrative Council for its consideration and approval. 
 
The Harare Protocol
 
The Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the framework of ARIPO was adopted on December 10, 1982.  The Protocol empowers the Organization to grant patents and to register utility models and industrial designs and to administer such patents, utility models and industrial designs on behalf of contracting states in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol through its Secretariat (the ARIPO Office).
 
The amendments to the Harare Protocol and its Implementing Regulations have been undertaken to address specific issues affecting the filing and processing of applications, grant, and administration of industrial property titles processed by the ARIPO Office. 
 
The Harare Protocol Contracting States include; Botswana, São Tomé and Príncipe , The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
 
The Banjul Protocol
 
The Banjul Protocol on Marks, adopted by the ARIPO Administrative Council in 1993, establishes a trademark application filing and registration system along the lines of the Harare Protocol. 
 
Under the Banjul Protocol, an applicant may file a single application either at one of the Banjul Protocol Contracting States or directly with the ARIPO Office. The applicant should designate Banjul Protocol Contracting States in which the applicant wishes the mark to be protected once the ARIPO Office has registered it.
 
States currently party to the Banjul Protocol are: Botswana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe
 
 
The Swakopmund Protocol
 
The Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore was adopted by a diplomatic conference held in Swakopmund, Namibia on August 9, 2010. 
 
The purpose of this Protocol is to protect traditional knowledge holders against any infringement of their rights as recognized by this Protocol and to protect expressions of folklore against misappropriation, misuse and unlawful exploitation beyond their traditional context. Through the Protocol, ARIPO has introduced a regional framework for the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of folklore. 
 
ARIPO Member States party to the protocol are; Botswana, The Gambia, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
 
About ARIPO
 
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) is an Inter-governmental organization (IGO). It was created under the Lusaka Agreement that was concluded and signed in Lusaka, Zambia on December 9 1976.  Membership of the Organization is open to all African States members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) or the African Union (AU).
 
For more information go to:  www.aripo.org 
 
 
For further information contact: 
Susan Mwiti
Documentations and Communications Officer, ARIPO
Tel: +263 4 794 065/6 or 782 300 903: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.