Friday, 16 May 2008

Africa Warms to Trademarks

At the risk of being the last blog to link to an article which has found some traction and orginally penned by this blogger for a column in World Trademark Review, here goes:

In a column orginally entitled Trademark Warming in Africa, this blogger suggests that recent developments mean that trademark owners should make plans both to develop their brands' presence and to protect their rights in (and from) Africa. Recent signs of a trademark warming in Africa include:

* African governments are becoming increasingly outspoken on the need to protect intellectual property;

* Counterfeiting is rising significantly, showing both a market for brands and a need for proper brand protection;

* Africa's largest inward investment deal was signed last year and is widely recognised as a vote of confidence in the continent;

* The continent's European filings at OHIM were at their highest in 2007 relative to previous years, indicating relative growth; and

* The continent will host FIFA's World Cup Football event, a traditional showcase for multinational brands, in 2010.

Bearing in mind that the African continent is the second most populous in the world, and hence a significant potential market, Africa's call for attention on the trademark manager's budget spreadsheet should, in this blogger's view, be getting louder. The full article can be located here, here, here and here (thanks for the links)

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