To obtain trademark protection and recognition in Gabon, it must necessarily be registered through OAPI.
A trademark registered with the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI), African Intellectual Property Organization in English, grants protection in all seventeen (17) member states of this organization, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
OAPI is a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in OAPI, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.
Opposition actions may be filed by interested third parties against a trademark application within a period of six (6) months following its publication in the Official Gazette. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for more than five years after registration or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. In order to prevent this, the use of the mark can be in any of the member states.
Registered trademarks in OAPI have a validity of ten (10) years from the application date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested during the grace period of six (6) months after expiration, upon payment of a late renewal fee.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration through OAPI (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.