At ARIPO’s 40th Administrative Council Session (Harare, Zimbabwe) in December 2016, further improvements/amendments to the Harare Protocol were proposed and adopted. The amendments including the new schedule of fees came into effect on 1 January 2017.
The Harare Protocol empowers ARIPO to grant patents and to register utility models and industrial designs on behalf of the member countries. Some of the notable amendments include:
- A significant increase in official fees including new fees for additional or existing services (see below for some of the fee increases)
- Provisions for post-grant amendments
- Restrictions and clarification on multiple dependencies in claims (multiple dependent claims shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claims)
- Request for substantive examination must be filed for all patent applications and substantive examination fees paid
- Further clarification of patentable and non-patentable inventions
- Biotech inventions – if the disclosure includes nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences, then the sequence listing must also be submitted in a prescribed electronic format
- Restoration of rights for patents, utility models and industrial designs
- Restrictions on patentable biotechnological inventions
- Extensions on time limits
The ARIPO Banjul Protocol on trade marks was neither amended nor discussed at ARIPO’s 40th Administrative Council Session.
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