As you may know, The Comoros consists of four main islands, namely, Njazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Moheli), Nzwani (Anjouan), and Mahore (Mayotte).
The IP protection was sought through French registrations in Mahore (Mayotte), however, since there was no IP law in the remaining islands, the protection was obtained by publishing a Cautionary Notice in a daily newspaper to cover the remaining 3 islands.
Now, the Comoros Islands has ratified the Bangul Agreement to become the 17th Member State of the OAPI jurisdiction effective as of 25t May 2013.
Accordingly the admission of the new county has the following impact:
OAPI registration before joining the new country
All OAPI registrations before the accession of The Comoros will cover the original 16 member states with possibility of extension to The Comoros after payment of official fees.
OAPI pending application before joining the new country
All applications pending registration or applications under examination can be extended to cover The Comoros as above.
Renewal of Trademarks at OAPI
All trademarks with renewal due dates that fall after 25 May 2013 (the effective date) shall automatically cover the 17th member state even if the extension application to The Comoros was not applied for.
Extension of OAPI registrations to The Comoros
A trademark owner can apply for the extension of rights from or to The Comoros within twenty months of the effective date. Therefore, applicants can file applications for extension of rights in either manner, before the 25 January 2015. That being said, it is advisable to file an extension request at the earliest to have earliest effective date of protection.
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