Last December, the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) – second intergovernmental organization after the EU – acceded to the WIPO Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical indications. The Geneva Act will enter into force with respect to OAPI (with its 17 member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo) on March 15, 2023. At that point, the treaty will cover 55 jurisdictions around the world.
This means that, GIs and AO from contacting parties can be protected in 55 jurisdictions through a single application filed with WIPO, and the payment of one set of fees.
oriGIn is glad to see the WIPO Geneva Act expanding in Africa and worldwide. The Manual for Geographical Indications in Africa – recently finalized in collaboration with the AfriPI project – indicated the ratification of the Geneva Act as a top priority for African countries.
For more information on the WIPO Geneva Act, visit the dedicated page on the oriGIn website.