African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

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Established 9 Dec 1976, Lusaka (Zambia), under the auspices of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), on signature of an agreement by delegates of 6 states, following resolutions adopted 1972, Nairobi (Kenya) and 1974, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), and meeting, Oct 1975, Nairobi. Agreement entered into force 15 Feb 1978. Original title: Industrial Property Organization for English-Speaking Africa (ESARIPO) -- Organisation de la propriété industrielle de l'Afrique anglophone. Secretariat established 1 June 1981, Harare (Zimbabwe), prior to which ECA and WIPO acted as joint secretariat in Nairobi. Name changed Dec 1985, Harare, to African Regional Industrial Property Organization, at 9th session, following amendment to the Lusaka Agreement so as to no longer restrict membership to English-speaking states but to open it to all members of Organization of African Unity (OAU) or ECA.

Protocols to the Lusaka agreement:

 • Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the Framework of ARIPO (Harare Protocol), concluded 10 Dec 1982, Harare, as 'Protocol on patents and industrial designs within the framework of ESARIPO'. Revised, 1 July 1994, to link with Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT); and again under revision in the light of Patent Law Treaty (PLT). Protocol was amended to incorporate utility model 'Petty Patents', 1999.

 • Banjul Protocol on Marks, concluded 1993, Banjul (Gambia). Revised since 1997, to align with Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) and WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS);

 • Swakopmund Protocol on the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of folklore, adopted 2010, Swakopmund (Namibia);

 • ARIPO Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.


Promote harmonization and development of intellectual property laws, and matters related thereto, appropriate to the needs of members and of the region as a whole; foster establishment of a close relationship between members; establish common services or organs for coordination, harmonization and development of intellectual property activities; establish schemes for training of staff in administration of intellectual property laws; promote exchange of ideas, experience, research and studies; promote and evolve a common view and approach of members; assist members in acquisition and development of technology relating to intellectual property matters.

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Guidance/assistance/consulting; certification/accreditation; research and development; training/education; events/meetings.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 22 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 2 non-governmental organizations.
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Information Services

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Members in 19 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Research, Standards
    • Patents, Copyright

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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