Published Date: April 11, 2022

OAPI has recently uploaded, onto its LinkedIn page, five (5) videos of the Director General (“DG”), Mr Denis Bohoussou, addressing the media and agents on a number of issues[1].

Most importantly the Director General stated that all registration certificates which were signed by the Assistant Director-General during the period of the suspension of the DG (being 14 October 2021 to 10 December 2021) should be cancelled and reissued on the basis that they were issued irregularly.

The DG stated that the decision to cancel and reissue the registration certificates was made in accordance with the Regulations which require “all certificates pertaining to registered rights [to be] signed for by the Director General, or by any other official duly appointed by the Director General to do so. According to the DG, any registration certificates issued during the period of his suspension were not issued in accordance with the Regulations and, as such, these registration certificates must be withdrawn/cancelled and re-issued with the signature of the DG in the best interests of the right holders. The DG indicated that he was concerned that the failure to have the certificates re-issued could potentially compromise the ability of rights holders to enforce their rights in future if the validity of the right was called into question because the certificate was not properly issued.

In order to address this, proprietors who are in possession of original registration certificates that were issued by the Assistant Director-General during the period of suspension of the DG, will have to return same to OAPI and new certificates with the DG’s signature will be re-issued. NO official fees will be payable in this regard.

The remaining videos addresses inter alia the following:

  • the decision to dismiss certain members of staff, where he explains that such decision was not made by him personally but by the Administrative Council during an extraordinary general assembly;
  • tensions within the organisation and his call to the staff of OAPI to work together for the benefit of OAPI
  • the impact the recent crisis has had on the functioning of the organisation and the Director General’s concern regarding the resulting delays in the implementation of strategic and operational projects due to the internal problems of the organisation.

The Press Releases[2] highlights the alleged accusations levied against the Director General of OAPI.