Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Intellectual Property and the Springbok Scrum

It may not have been formally acknowledged by the IP industry in SA but the recent high profile IP disputes between the ANC and COPE and the debate over ownership of the springbok emblem has done much to raise the profile of IP in South Africa. Within the last six months local IP issues have often taken prime time television slots and consequently conversations around the dinner table and weekend braai. The effect of the interest should not be underestimated - for example, suddenly trainee lawyers/candidate attorneys are very interested in getting an IP seat as part of their training. However, IP has also found interesting application elsewhere too as this article, bearing the interesting title "Boks should pick Human - Visagie", illustrates.

Stephen Nel (SuperSport) warns that South African rugby should jealously guard its "intellectual property", according to former tighthead prop Cobus Visagie. The words "intellectual property", "rugby" & "loosehead props" are not normally syntactical teammates which is why the use of the term IP is unusual, if not amusing, especially as the warning had nothing to do with trade marks, patents, designs or copyright. The term as used by Nel appears to refer to the knowhow and trade secrets (also IP) possessed by props and the rugby scrum, which according to Visagie "has gone backwards because players are discarded too quickly".

One question posed by Afro-IP is whether a tight head will have more intellectual property than a loose head?

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