Amendments to the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs and the Banjul Protocol on Marks, and their Implementing Regulations, came into force on 1 January 2023. This follows the Resolutions of the ARIPO Administrative Council at its 46th Session that was held in Maputo, Mozambique, from 21 to 25 November 2022.
A notable amendment to the Implementing Regulations to the Harare Protocol includes provision for the issuance of a partial examination report where the Office considers an ARIPO patent application to lack unity of invention and to only conduct the search and examination in respect of the first mentioned invention or group of inventions. The applicant is invited to limit the claims to the first mentioned invention or group of inventions and file divisional application(s) directed to the remaining invention or group of inventions.
Furthermore, the Implementing Regulations to the Harare Protocol includes a prohibition against patenting a plant or animal exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process.
The Implementing Regulations to the Banjul Protocol also sets out the form of communicating to the Office to cancel a registered mark by a designated state.