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OAPI magistrates meet to share best practices in managing intellectual property disputes

October 27, 2023

Some 40 judges from member States of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and other French-speaking African countries recently attended the Subregional workshop jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), OAPI, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) of France and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and the Promotion of SMEs of Côte d’Ivoire.

(Image: OIPI)

The event was held in Abidjan on October 10 and 11, 2023, as part of the second edition of the Innovative Ivorian Trademark Days (JM2I) and afforded all participants an opportunity to share expertise and boost skills in dealing with intellectual property (IP) disputes.

The interactive training sessions, led by legal experts and practitioners, covered a broad range of key topics relating to the management of copyright, trademark, patent and industrial design disputes. The use of case studies in the workshop encouraged discussion of best practices in handling such disputes and issues relating to the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and stimulated lively debate on recent developments in case law.

The presentation of the WIPO Collection of Leading Judgments on Intellectual Property Rights: Members of the African Intellectual Property Organization (1997-2018) was warmly welcomed for the unprecedented access it offers to landmark IP judgments and rulings from the OAPI region.

(Image: OIPI)

In her opening address, Eun Joo Min, Director of the WIPO Judicial Institute, underlined the importance of pursuing fruitful collaboration between WIPO and OAPI, UEMOA, INPI and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire with a view to establishing a balanced and efficient ecosystem for the promoting of innovation and creativity. She also recalled the commitment by WIPO to build judicial capacity, in particular through partnerships and tailored training, in order to deal with the major challenges posed by counterfeiting and piracy.

The meeting also provided a platform for strengthening professional ties and encouraging fruitful exchange between judges from the OAPI region and other French-speaking African countries, and highlighted how vital the protection of IP and enforcement of IPRs are for stimulating innovation and economic growth in the region.