The Democratic Republic of Sào Tomé and Príncipe has become the most recent African country to join the regional designation of ARIPO for the purposes of patents, designs and utility models by virtue of its accession to the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the Framework of the African Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on 19 May 2014. The Harare Protocol will enter into force with respect to the the Democratic Republic of Sào Tomé and Príncipe on 19 August 2014, and it will therefore be possible to designate this jurisdiction in ARIPO applications filed on or after that date. 

This latest development brings the number of Member States of ARIPO to 19 and the number of states party to the Harare Protocol to 18. Since the Democratic Republic of Sào Tomé and Príncipe is also a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), any international application filed on or after 19 August 2014 will include the designation of the Democratic Republic of Sào Tomé and Príncipe for an ARIPO patent, as well as for a national patent. In addition, as from 19 August 2014, it will be possible for nationals and residents of the Democratic Republic of Sào Tomé and Príncipe to file PCT applications with ARIPO as a receiving Office.