“With effect from 1 January 2022, amendments to the ARIPO Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs came into force as highlighted in our article here. It has become apparent however, that the amendments under Rule 23(2)(d) are in conflict with Section 3(3) of the Harare Protocol as read with amended Rule 18(1)(a). The ARIPO Office has confirmed that the current Rule 23(2)(d) should be disregarded pending the rectification of the misleading amendment.

The ARIPO Office has confirmed that the time frame within which applicants should request substantive examination of ARIPO patent applications is up to 3 (three) years from the date of filing or from the priority date, if claimed, whichever is the earlier event and not 31 months from the earliest priority date as stipulated under Rule 23(2)(d). Where the priority of more than one corresponding application is claimed, the time frame for requesting substantive examination of the ARIPO patent application shall be calculated from the date of the earliest priority claimed.

Our team is on hand to further provide clarity regarding the above”.