Monday, 22 September 2014
Friday, 19 September 2014
Judy Chebet, a tax and IP lawyer in John Syekei's highly effective IP team at the firm, summarises the impact on IP as follows:
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
|FMF might need this:|
Quality ostrich feather duster
just £9.99 (Afro Leo brand) here,
much cheaper elsewhere!
Oh well, let's hope that the nice folks at the FMF can now decide to favourably make use of the duster (unashamedly plugged above for Afro Leo) so that the levy scheme can come to fruition to (again, hopefully) do what it's known for: compensating rightholders.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
This article discusses South Africa's draft Intellectual Property Policy proposed reforms. It considers how these may be practically implemented. In particular, it focuses on the phased sector specific introduction of substantive patent examination, possible co-operation with other national or regional patent offices to enhance examination capacity, the retention of non-examination for utility or second-tier patents and the involvement of third parties in the examination process. It also considers the re-introduction of opposition proceedings to further strengthen the patent system.
The article points to other jurisdictions that have implemented some of these options such as Australia's utility patent system, the successful implementation of the peer-to-patent project in countries such as the United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) and opposition proceedings in Europe, the UK and Australia. It concludes that these are plausible and viable options that should be further explored for adaptation to the South African context.
The article will be of interest to those following policy and legislative developments in the developing world and particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, where change often begins in South Africa then extends throughout the region as neighbouring states follow South Africa's lead.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Morocco is party to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US (see full text here) and a co-operation agreement with the EPO (see here). Pursuant to her signature of the FTA, Morocco has a TRIPS- plus IP regulatory framework. Presumably also linked to this relationship with the US, Morocco was the only African country involved in the negotiation and conclusion of the ill-fated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which she signed in 2011 (see here). All of this may be an indicator that the country favours a strong (read TRIPS plus) regime which this Leo fears may not be appropriate for a developing country. However, the country has shown some appreciation of the need to have a properly nuanced IP regime that caters for users through its signature of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. It remains to be seen when the county will ratify the treaty and how her IP policy would balance her FTA obligations with user and societal rights.
WIPOLex entry here
for a discussion of the Morocco-US FTA see Omar Aloui 'Intellectual Property Rights' in Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Claire Brunel and Dean DeRosa (ed.s) Capitalizing on the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement: A Road Map for Success (Policy Analyses in International Economics) (2009) pp147 - 162 ; full text here
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
We at Afro-IP all look forward to a time when peace and good order will return to that troubled jurisdiction and that the most important thing to worry about will be trade mark oppositions ...
Monday, 8 September 2014
|Zulu Chiefs in regalia|
|Maidens prepare to lay ceremonial reeds|
|Sun sets on Zulu maidens|
|Zulu chiefs perform|
|Queens look on|
|A King's speech|
Thursday, 4 September 2014
The Nigerian Copyright Commission has announced an online registration system called NCeRS, Nigerian Copyright e-Registration System. The new system is available on the NCC website – in fact, when this Little Leo went to the usual http://www.copyright.gov.ng site, she was greeted by a nice big pop-up encouraging her to register her work at the NCeRS url http://www.eregistration.copyright.gov.ng/?.
The NCeRS site includes more than just a registration portal. There is nice FAQ section that answers question about registration and copyright generally. The searchable database is a great feature. It’s unclear whether or not the database is already running (and Little Leo just couldn’t make any good guesses about already registered works to find) or if it will be populated as the digital registrations come in. The database search isn’t quite as user-friendly as the US Copyright Office’s. For example, in the NCC database, you have to know whether the name you’re searching is the Author or the Copyright Owner. In the US database, you can search one name in multiple fields at the same time. Also, “Keyword” usually means searching for a word or phrase in any field. In the NCC database, the “Keyword” field is a drop-down menu where you have to choose the work type, another category that would sometimes be nice to leave blank.
A few other links to additional services currently redirect to the home page, so it looks like NCC will be rolling out more features as the program continues to be built.
Little Leo Tries Registering a Work
Registering for an NCeRS account was pretty easy. The free-form box for address is nice when dealing with registrants from multiple jurisdictions. Beware: this is one of those systems that will email you your password once you register. Don’t use a password you use anywhere else.
Once you’re logged in, the site takes you to a Dashboard showing the status of all your applications. This is pretty neat and a bit nicer than the US eCo system (with which Little Leo is more familiar), because it divides the cases by status for an easy glance-over.
The registration form is pretty simple and straight-forward, at least for a copyright attorney. General creators may stumble a little on questions like “Medium of Fixation.” The drop-down menu helps, although it has a limited list of mediums: CD, VCD, DVD, VHS, Audio Tape, Paper. There’s nothing for other digital fixations such as hard-drives, which is particularly interesting since the Nigerian Copyright Act explicitly protects computer programs as literary works. Does a computer program need to be saved on a CD before it can be registered?
For works already registered in another jurisdiction, the form allows inputting information about any existing registrations. Obtaining the physical certificate from the NCC may be a little difficult for anyone outside of Nigeria. The form suggests certificates must be picked up in person from one of the NCC’s 15 listed Zonal Offices. But, that entry isn’t required and it’s not clear what happens if it’s left blank.
The Author Information page is a bit repetitive if the owner and creator are the same person, but it’s not a lot of info to retype. The Nationality question is fun simply because the dropdown menu actually lists nationalities and not countries. For those whose nationality name is very different than their country’s name (i.e. Dutch or American), it requires some thinking. Re-entering information a third time for a Correspondence person is a bit tiresome. It’d be nice if there were a checkbox option “Author is Correspondence person.”
Submission of the work may be done as an upload, by mailing the work to the NCC or by doing an office drop-off. The office drop-off option is kind of neat. Maximum file size for uploads is 20MB and there’s special instructions if registering a video work.
Once the registration forms are complete, you have the option to download a pdf via the “Print Application” button. This is also a pretty neat feature.
The fees are listed as N10 (US$30) in Nigeria (versus $45 in the US). However, the Nigerian fees are per relationship to the work, so if you register as both Author and Copyright Owner, it’s a $60 fee. There is a processing fee for paying online, but it’s minimal. Payments are done through a third-party site, and you do need to create a separate account for it. Little Leo couldn’t get past this point and actually pay for the registration because the third-party site kept giving a server error.
When an application fee is not paid, the application stays in the “Pending Applications” area. Clicking on the question mark at the end of the application row will check to see if payment has been made. If it has not, the application will go to the “Saved Applications” area and can be edited there. However, Little Leo could not figure out how to get back to the payment options screen. Going through the whole app again and clicking “Save and Next” until the very end resulted in going to the pending applications screen instead of the payment screen. Same thing with clicking on “Pay & Submit” in the side bar and with clicking through the link in the email saying that payment failed. After 30 minutes of trying to figure this out Little Leo gave up. (Guess it’s time to call some friends in Nigeria.)
Supposedly, registration has a very quick turn-around time. Registration with the NCC is estimated to take about 10 days, shorter for registrations with payments and deposits made online. By contrast, a US registration is currently estimated to take about 3-5 months for online registrations and longer for paper filings. However, if the NCC doesn’t get the payment system working soon, it won’t matter how quick the turn-around time is supposed to be or how fancy the online registration system is.
NCeRS looks like it’s going to be great, but there are definitely still some kinks to work out.
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
You can read this article in full here.
In light of the general wording of the IPR clauses in both constitutions, ultimately the manner in which these clauses are implemented through national laws and judicial decisions will be critical in ensuring that a balanced approach to IP protection is adopted; one which takes into account the level of development of each country and one which is supportive of their respective public policy objectives.
Monday, 1 September 2014
A Turkish company, Yildiz Holding Anonim Sirketi ('Yildiz') filed a cancellation action before the Commercial Court, citing the following:
* prior registrations of ULKER BISKREM as word mark and in various designs by Yildiz in Djibouti, as well as the Czech Republic, Germany, Pakistan, Slovak Republic, Yemen, Kazakhstan, OAPI, Romania, Ukraine, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Republic of Serbia, Turkey, Trinidad, Algeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq,
Morocco, Russia and others (there was also a Community trade mark);It appeared that Fuad had been buying and distributing Yildiz's trade marked products in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea for the past seven years, so his opposed mark was registered in bad faith.
* prior use of the mark by Yildiz both in Djibouti and abroad.
Following a full hearing, the Court ruled in favour of cancelling Fuad's registration of the trade mark ULKER BISKREM. Yildiz was also awarded reimbursement for the damages in the amount of DJF500,000 (US$ 2,795.34).
Since the decision was not appealed within six months from notification date, it has become final.
Source: NJQ & Associates August 2014 Newsletter. NJQ & Associates acted on behalf of Yildiz in these proceedings.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
|A Leo engrossed in pleadings|
Alas, the opening salvo of this battle, Moneyweb's Founding Affidavit, is not available on the site (the link opens Annexure C1 instead). However, the answer, Fin24's Answering Affidavit , is available, as is Moneyweb's Replying Affidavit. This Leo finds it all very interesting and useful. Thanks to Moneyweb's website, she can share recent pleadings with her IP students and she is certain that many Afro-IP readers will find the documents interesting too. This will be a very interesting case to follow, as it is the first time a South African court has had an opportunity to consider whether news aggregation constitutes copyright infringement. Anton Harber succintly captured what's at stake, when he blogged
"This is a battle of our media giants, as Moneyweb is owned by Caxton and Fin24 by Nasper’s Media24. The elephants are fighting and the ants are watching, as always, nervously." (Read his full post here).
UPDATE - 2 September
For how other jurisdictions have resolved similar cases see-
AP wins ruling in copyright case against news aggregator [2013 - The Associated Press v Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc, 12-cv-1087, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York]
UPDATE 1-Dow Jones wins injunction against Ransquawk over 'hot news' [ 2014- Dow Jones & Co v. Real-Time Analysis & News Ltd, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-00131]
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Many in IP circles have spent much of this month discussing the import of this lady Macaque's selfie-taking skills and whether they entitle her to copyright in the picture she took of herself (left). Over at IPKenya (here) Victor Nzomo gave us David Slater's version of how this photogenic macaque got her hands on his camera and why he insists that he holds copyright in the photo. Our friends at the IPKat discussed the matter here and our other friends at the 1709 blog are running a poll here till 1 September to get readers' views on who holds copyright in the photo. If you haven't had your say yet, this Leo recommends that you head over to IPKat and cast your vote.
Mali is an OAPI and ECOWAS member state.
According to WIPO reports here and here the country's national IP Policy has been under discussion and formulation since 2011. The draft policy is not currently publicly available.
Mauritania is an OAPI and African Economic Community (AEC) member state. This Leo was unable to unearth any information on work towards an IP Policy in this country.
For more info, see -
Mali's WIPOLex entry here
Mauritania's WIPOLex entry here
Mauritius' WIPOLex entry here
Quoting from the article penned by Yunus Sailu:
"PS Momodou C. Joof was speaking recently at the opening ceremony of the National Roving Seminar on making better use of intellectual property for business competitiveness and development in Africa."