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May 20, 2021

Protecting Domains in West Africa

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OAPI Domains

In West Africa, there are 17 different nations where it is not possible to register a national trade mark.

OAPI Map

The only option to gain trade mark protection, in those countries, is to file a trade mark with the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle or (OAPI) and the local domain name is no easy feat - because each country has its own unique rules and regulations.

This makes registration time-consuming and complicated, however if a trade mark warrants protection within OAPI, acquiring the local domain name is definitely worth it.

Due to the limited domain recovery options in this region, it is recommended that a strategic defensive registration policy be adopted. If a local presence is an obstacle, we would recommend registering on the domain extensions where a local presence is not required.

Country

Extension

Restriction

Benin.bjNone
Burkina Faso.bfLocal presence or trade mark required
Cameroon.cmNone
Central African Republic.cfNone
Chad.tdNone
Comoros.kmLocal presence or trade mark required
Congo.cgNone
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).ciNone
Equatorial Guinea.gqNone
Gabon.gaNone
Guineacom.gnLocal presence demonstrating intention to use
Guinea-Bissau.gwNone
Mali.mlNone
Mauritania.mrNone
Niger.neLocal presence required
Senegal.snNone
Togo.tgNone

We are aware that our clients are looking for a regional solution so we have packaged all the domain extensions listed above into one bulk offering to ensure that your OAPI trademark is secured within that region’s domain name space.

Please reach out to us for costing on the OAPI domain name package.