Republic of Congo Trade Marks
Trade Mark Registration in Congo
Republic of Congo trade marks may only be registered through the OAPI union where a single application covers all member states. It is not possible to obtain national registration in Congo but penalties for infringements are the responsibility of Congo courts. Congo trade marks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and are renewable every 10 years thereafter. OAPI trade mark registration is available for certification marks and goods and services.
Types of Trade Marks:
- Goods and services
- Certification marks
Trade Mark Duration / Renewals:
10 years from filing date and renewable for further periods of 10 years.
Trade Mark Filing Requirements
- Simply signed Power of Attorney
- Details of the Applicant (full names, physical address, nationality / country of incorporation)
- Representation of the trademark(s)
- List of goods and / or services
- Certified copy of priority document (if applicable)
Trade Mark Classes
The most current edition of the Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed. The Nice Classification, established by the Nice Agreement, is an international classification for the registration of marks. A new edition is published every 5 years and a new version of each edition is published annually.
International and Regional Systems
The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) member-states include the majority of African French speaking countries. The Bangui Agreement encourages cooperation between all the member-states by sharing common objectives in Intellectual Property matters. OAPI is a regional filing system which covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. A single application automatically covers all countries mentioned above. It is not possible to designate the countries of interest.
OAPI is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trademarks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trademarks and industrial designs to name a few.
OAPI is a member of the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty designed to simplify the international trademark registration process. Using this process, registrants are able to complete a single application, in their home language, that can then be applied to over 90 member countries.
Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of Intellectual Property legal services in all African countries where protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ needs for trademarks, designs and patents in Africa.