Wednesday, 30 January 2008
See the full report here.
Did you know? Botswana is home to Africa's longest continuous multi-party democracy BBC.
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Monday, 28 January 2008
In dismissing BAT's Appeal the three judge Appeal bench held that there can be no proprietary rights in a particular colour and there can be no proprietary rights in general in words descriptive of goods.
1. The case contains an interesting analysis of how the laws of trade mark infringement and passing off are applied in Kenya as well as their Court procedure. Unsurprisingly, some reference is made to English law;
2. Despite the fact that this second appeal was heard years after the action was filed in 1999, initial relief was obtained (in BAT's favour) within five months of filing the action in March 1999 and the first appeal was filed in 2000 and heard at separate sittings in 2001 and 2002, when a decision was granted in favour of CUTT in July that year;
3. Security for costs placed into Court by BAT after its initial hearing were in Shs 20,000,000/- Kenya Shillings (or $275,000 at today's exchange rate);
4. The action appears to have been argued using typical action style procedure with four witnesses being cross examined in Court. In some countries in Africa, it is possible to hear these types of cases on the papers alone, principally, to speed up decision making;
5. The eventual outcome is not surprising because "get-up/trade dress" type cases are rarely won without significant evidence showing a likelihood of confusion. Afro IP's guess is that BAT's first victory in 1999 probably gave them sufficient time to commercially secure market share over CUTT whilst the case was pending appeal.
"Reducing South Africa’s 35% software piracy rate by 10 percentage points would have a “multiplier effect” and increase those economic benefits, generating 1200 additional jobs, R480 million in tax revenues and R6 billion in spending in the local IT sector over the next four years".The BSA-IDC study is available online here. It examines the bottom-line economic benefits of reducing PC software piracy in 42 countries. The cornerstone of the research is IDC's Piracy Impact Model (PIM), which takes inputs from IDC's market research around the globe on IT spending and software piracy, along with other information on IT employment levels and IT-related taxes.
Of the 42 countries examined, only 4 were from Africa -- the other three being Egypt, Kenya and Morocco.
"The dearth of a reading culture in Nigeria, the collapse of the publishing industry, piracy and intellectual property theft. There is an incomplete understanding by some in power, that art should be taken seriously, deeply appreciated, and that if well nurtured, talented artists can affect and change the lives of millions, in a very deep and positive way".
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Friday, 25 January 2008
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
" ... TV broadcast rights fees were too stiff for some African broadcasters, sending the matches to pay-channels. But, then, the remarkable rise of the mobile phone is unleashing the power of that platform.
SportFive acquired broadcast rights for the Cup of Nations from its organizer, the Confederation of African Football, and has gone about reselling rights to whoever has the cash. This has left viewers in some countries to decide between pay-per-view and no football. SportFive is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lagardère. It is also the European broadcast rights sales agent for the UEFA Euro 2008 championships.
Football fans in Zambia, Rwanda and Kenya will miss Cup of Nations coverage on their free-to-air television channels. Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation was unable to raise the €1 million rights fee, which ZNBC General Director Joseph Salasini called “unpleasant.”
Rwanda’s national TV broadcaster was unable to raise the €290,000 rights fee. Like ZNBC, Namibian Broadcasting Corporation was asked for €1 million.
SportFive resold cup of Nations TV rights for Europe to Eurosport, for North Africa and the Middle East to ARTE Arab Group and South African mobile phone operator MIT for southern Africa.
Paris-based LC2 International bought broadcast rights for 43 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, according to its January 5th press release. Showing the contentious nature of buying and trading rights the company made clear it would litigate any infringement “immediately and systematically” and set a minimum penalty of “one euro per inhabitant of each country concerned.” LC2 operates a Benin television channel.
Nigeria’s audio-visual industry association Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) balked at LC 2 International’s demand for €3 million for rights, offering €1.25 million. BON Chairman Abubakar B. Jijiwa, in an op-ed posted in The Guardian (Nigeria) January 14, angrily said “the days when shylock broadcast right holders ride roughshod over the Nigerian broadcasters by the jugular are over.” LC2 International asked Kenya’s public broadcaster KBC for €300,000, which it could not afford.
Cable network MultiChoice Africa, owner of the Supersport channel, bought exclusive media rights for South Africa and non-exclusive rights for the rest of Africa. During the weekend prior to the Cup of Nations MultiChoice set up a DVB-H mobile TV trial, offering a replay of the 2006 FIFA World Cup opening match to 1500 subscribers in South Africa. Clearly, the rise of mobile phone users in Africa will bring its own world-class match-up: pay-TV vs. mobile TV.
The astounding take-up of mobile phone usage in Africa has been noticed by both African and international broadcasters. In conflict zones people are sending pictures and video to television stations. Radio talk-shows have become vibrant – and often quite wild – with callers on mobile phones able to easily interact. Informa Telecoms & Media forecast 2008 mobile phone subscription growth in Africa is the highest of all the worlds’ regions, 18.7%, surpassing the Asia Pacific region at 16.05%
The attachment of sports and the mobile phone has been touted for years, at least the turn of the century. To date, reality hasn’t caught up with the promise or the investment. By the end of the year the Beijing Olympics and the Euro 2008 football championships will be history. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and all other sellers of sports rights are abundantly aware of new media’s impact, looking in every corner for more cash. But it remains with consumers, who ultimately pay for these services, to determine the sports content they want, where they want it and how they will use it. The results from Africa these next three weeks could be very revealing".
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
AFRO-IP wonders if The Green Building Council of Australia are aware that according to their local Trade Mark Office a certain Mr Matthew Bliss has a pending application for GREENSTAR HOMES for "building and construction services; building management". He also wonders if the GBCSA are considering a certification mark for their local protection in South Africa? A certification mark is special category of trade mark which indicates that goods or services are certified by the proprietor in respect of their characteristics eg origin, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services or quality. Typical SA examples include:
"SPIEGEL: How do you feel about the international resurgence of nuclear energy? Does nuclear power belong in the energy mix of industrialized countries?
El-Badri : As long as safety can be guaranteed -- why not?
SPIEGEL: You're not convinced that modern nuclear power plants are safe?
El-Badri : It's an extremely dangerous technology. As we have seen in Chernobyl, even a single accident can have devastating consequences.
SPIEGEL: And yet countries rich in natural resources, like Iran and your native Libya, are investing heavily in nuclear technology. Tripoli has just placed an order with the French for a nuclear power plant.
El-Badri : Before this technology can benefit Libya, it will have to train many specialists and it will require a great deal of technology transfer".
The meeting will be at 15:00 in the Auditorium of Bowman Gilfillan Inc, located at 165 West Street, Sandton, Johannesburg and will be followed by a cocktail reception.
You can confirm your attendance by Friday 25 January 2008 to:
Teresa van Loggrenberg (Adams and Adams)
Tel: +27 12-481 1645
Monday, 21 January 2008
According to S11D(1): For the purpose of determining the taxable income derived by a taxpayer from carrying on any trade, there shall be allowed as a deduction from the income of such taxpayer so derived, an amount equal to 150 per cent of so much of any expenditure actually incurred by that taxpayer directly in respect of activities undertaken in the Republic directly for the purposes of qualifying R&D activities.
The document contains a condition of fair use stating that “all references to the firm should be retained if the document is used, distributed or copied” just after the statement that the document “is released in furtherance to the firm’s commitment to make intellectual property more accessible” (a notion that strikes a chord with AFRO-IP).
The legislation can be downloaded through the National Treasury website.
The Afro-IP blog team welcome news of recent articles on any aspect of intellectual property law in, or affecting, Africa. Please email your information here.
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Friday, 18 January 2008
Thursday, 17 January 2008
The ISC-Intelligence in Science and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are organising a Science with Africa Conference in Addis Abba from 3-7 March. According to the conference website Science with Africa will focus on the following interesting topics:
•Partnering: Finding sponsors; partnering strategy;
•IPR & Patents: Patent legislation; prior art; IPR evaluation; access to patent information;
•Technology Transfer: Technology transfer methodologies; technology transfer centres;innovation network-centres for Africa;
•Financing: Analysis of existing financing; available investments; R&D spending figures;spending trends;
•Dissemination: Dissemination structures; promoting best practices; information collection; editing;
•Proposal Presentation: IP; submitting; funding.
The full program can be downloaded here.
International speakers and participants include representatives from SADC, the World Health Organization, the European Medicines Agency the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme, the South African Department of Health and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
By sharing this blog with friends and colleagues and following Jeremy's post on the IPKAT here, we have received a number of comments that we wanted to share with you:
- It looks very promising. I mentioned it on www.pmdm.fr. I hope contributors from various African countries will join you.
- Very interesting concept. It would be good to deal with the issues of helping the poorer African states to understand, recognise and protect their IP rights.
- The black background is a bit forbidding.
- SA is underrepresented. This part of Africa is probably the most active as far as IP is concerned.
- The blog looks great.
- It looks very good and the content seems to be relevant and interesting.
- I must say, the blog is excellent!
- The referenceability of the site could be better improved.
Do you agree with these comments? Perhaps you have more? We welcome this feedback tremendously, thank you.
Biotechnology firms in South Africa have urged MPs to reconsider clauses in the draft Technology Innovation Agency Bill that give the Agency rights to board representation and equity stakes in the firms it invests in, saying these rights would grant too much control to the government via the agency according the The Business Day, a leading South African business newspaper. The Technology Innovation Agency is a government backed initiative designed to “increase the rate at which home-grown research is turned into successful commercial products and services”. However, “Having a government agency as a shareholder and board member can seriously undermine the adaptability and decision-making capability essential for a fast-growing and dynamic company,” said AfricaBio’s Donrich Jordaan.
If the draft Technology Information Agency Bill is intended to be anything like the success of a similar US initiative which began over twenty five years ago, known as the Bayh-Dole Act, South African industry has much to look forward to. Perhaps the most important contribution of Bayh-Dole is that it reversed the presumption of title. Bayh-Dole permits a university, small business, or non-profit institution to elect to pursue ownership of an invention before the government.
Microsoft has reported some success in supporting various anti-piracy initiatives in a number of African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana. In Zambia and Kenya, particularly, there are dedicated groups of police that form part of the IP Protection Agencies, and who are passionate about their work and see the value that they bring to the country through their anti-piracy activities.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Monday, 14 January 2008
Sunday, 13 January 2008
"Africa has become a big hole for us. The African territories, particularly in the west, are being used for transiting and commuting counterfeit and unsafe goods to hide their Chinese origin ... The problem in Africa is that customs officers there might as well be invisible. They are not empowered to act. The smugglers know this and this is why they are moving stuff from China through Africa as the other routes are well-covered".
Saturday, 12 January 2008
Friday, 11 January 2008
“We are delighted that the refurbishment of Matla has encouraged local expertise in South Africa. This has been achieved through years of technology transfer, making our local operation competitive".
"This is commendable but more is needed to be done. Examples are the dubious contracts each individual film makers, marketers, actors, actress and producers are undertaking individually with dubious individuals both internationally and within Nigeria for their personal marketing and distribution rights, and these contracts are not abiding or enforceable in the international copyright laws or anywhere else in the world. Such hasty contract with no backbone and as such these people are given blank checks to produce and distribute Nigeria arts and Films internationally with no money coming to them or into Nigeria, and it is a win win situation for the piraters and copyright violators . Nigeria and the film industry are shortchanged and violated big time in these hasty deals".
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Monday, 7 January 2008
"The new agreement provides a mechanism through which the United States and Libya can broaden cooperation in all scientific and technology fields, and move forward in areas of on-going collaboration such as public health, water resources, and space and upper atmospheric science. It is designed to support government-to-government exchanges, scientific partnerships between private, academic, and non-governmental entities, and the establishment of science-based industries and promotion of jobs. The Agreement establishes a framework to facilitate exchange of scientific results and provide protection for intellectual property rights, and will also help establish a regional dialogue on important science issues, such as the protection of the environment and the management of shared resources.
The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement is an important step in recognizing Libya’s historic renunciation of weapons of mass destruction and positive re-engagement with the international community. It is also a component of US efforts to promote peace and stability in the Maghreb region of Africa and broadening US-Libya bilateral relations".
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Saturday, 5 January 2008
"only applies to activities connected to 2010 FIFA World Cup SOUTH AFRICA in the area of Football or Soccer 2010 FIFA World Cup. The prohibition does not apply to the media, provided the reportage is fair and not imbued with unscrupulous business enterprising".The phrasing clearly can give rise to further debate, but at least only certain words and devices were given protection [the ones that look as if they could be trade marks] and the limitation on the protection granted, to activities connected to the relevant event, means that ordinary South Africans can refer to their country, the date, and even worlds and cups without running the risk of FIFA's wrath.