On December 5, 2014 the World Intellectual Property Organization announced that 17 new African countries have joined the Madrid Protocol. The 17 member states are French-speaking countries in large part, including Senegal, Gabon and Mauritania. All of such countries belong to the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) headquartered in Cameroon. The signing of the instrument of accession came just a few short months after India joined the Madrid Protocol earlier in 2014. This development will lay the desperately needed foundation for businesses throughout these African countries and neighboring countries to protect their trademarks with the filing of a single application.