The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation among African States in IP matters. It used to be called African Regional Industrial Property Organization and thus originally focused mainly on patent and other industrial property aspects of Intellectual Property. The change of the name of the organization from African Regional Industrial Property Organization to African Regional Intellectual Property Organization took effect from the year 2005 and since then, ARIPO covers all aspects of Intellectual Property namely: Industrial Property (which comprises inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indications) and Copyright (which includes literary works, artistic works, sound recordings, audiovisual works, computer software, among others).
Altogether, ARIPO has eighteen member states including Ghana and most of these member states are English-speaking countries. The member states of ARIPO are as follows:
Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
ARIPO has the following objectives:
(1) to promote the harmonization and development of the industrial property laws, and matters related thereto, appropriate to the needs of its members and of the region as a whole;
(2) to foster the establishment of a close relationship between its members in matters relating to industrial property;
(3) to establish such common services or organs as may be necessary or desirable for the co-ordination, harmonization and development of the industrial property activities affecting its members;
(4) to establish schemes for the training of staff in the administration of industrial property law;
(5) to organize conferences, seminars and other meetings on industrial property matters;
(6) to promote the exchange of ideas and experience, research and studies relating to industrial property matters;
(7) to promote and evolve a common view and approach of its members on industrial property matters;
(8) to assist its members, as appropriate, in the acquisition and development of technology relating to industrial property matters;
(9) to do all such other things as may be desirable for the achievement of these objectives.