A recent announcement by the President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli and the Director-General of Tunisia’s National Standardisation and Industrial Property Institute (INNORPI), Amel Ben Farhat, stated that from 1 December 2017, European patents can be validated in Tunisia. This follows from an agreement signed between the parties in Munich, Germany in July 2014.

As far as we have been able to determine, the Tunisian patent legislation and regulations have not been updated to recognise EP validations. As such, it is not clear if EP patents validated in Tunisia will have full legal effect. Until such time as the legislation has been amended it is our recommendation that clients continue to file nationally in Tunisia either via the Paris Convention or the PCT.

We have recently opened an office in Egypt which acts as a hub for the North African region servicing not only Egypt but also Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. As a result of this development we are well suited to assist you with obtaining patent and design protection in Tunisia and any other North African country that  may be of interest.

Apart from our presence in North Africa, we are also able to assist you with obtaining patent protection in ant other African country. Furthermore, there are two regional organisations in Africa, i.e. African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). The two regional organizations cover 35 countries. ARIPO is mainly for English speaking countries (Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome & Principe, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) whereas OAPI is for French speaking countries (Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali , Senegal, Togo, Mauritania, Niger).

For further information on IP matters in Africa contact africaip@adams.africa

Nicky Garnett
Partner | Head of Africa Patents
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