Monday, 3 January 2011

First January Post

Afro-IP wishes its readers Seasons Greetings and a really prosperous 2011! In this post Afro-IP steals a glance at some of the more popular, interesting and thought provoking issues in 2010 and takes stock of its own progress as it turns three.

Here goes (in no particular order and at risk of not highlighting notable developments):

• Cape Verde gets a new IP office – this post heads up the most popular hit counter ranking although Afro Leo is not entirely certain why.

• The World Cup Football event sheds a spotlight on Africa, some unique ambush marketing laws and anti-counterfeiting policies. Lots of controversy and much interest.

• Various countries make progress with legislation – Sudan adopts customs registration against counterfeiting and Uganda service mark legislation.

• RSA’s law seeking to promote innovation from public funds came into force in August amidst much commentary from the skeptics while movement on its controversial TK legislation seems to have stalled.

• The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) adopted a legal framework, known as the “Swakopmund Protocol” for the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of culture while Ghana seeks to ensure its people use the National Folklaw Board.

• A hat trick of judgments in RSA on the Counterfeit Goods Act and associated legislation in RSA is welcomed and a sign of growth in this area of IP.

• CIPRO claws back credibility from setbacks in 2009 with good progress in its Trade Mark section.

• The facts behind the real story on coffee branding in Ethiopia percolate in a series of posts by Jeremy.

• Collecting society tensions continue in Nigeria despite the celebrated approval of COSON.

• Afro-IP bloggers are well represented at the INTA annual conference regional focus session on Africa, in Boston.

• Afro-IP welcomes contributions from new authors Sara Spiro, Christian Djomga and Angela Adebayo as well as valued contributions from its regular authors and readers that send it information and leads.

• The Kenya Industrial Property Institute new Managing Director position was advertised on Afro-IP.

• The “access to drugs” debate receives attention from the Kenyan courts in the controversial case over its new anti-counterfeit legislation. The country also witnessed the launch of its anti-counterfeit agency.

• In 2010, Afro-IP’s email subscribers rose from 328 to 502 with a growing LinkedIn membership.

• Over the year the blog received 31,468 visitors, a 24% increase over 2009.

As much as the post is an opportunity to reflect, Afro-IP is about the present and future of IP on the continent where commentary on the questions posed in this post, for example, is appreciated. With 3000-4000 visitors per month and a unique archive of over 900 searchable posts, this blog feels it can do more in 2011. Afro-IP values your support and always welcomes contributions, thoughts, leads, comments and suggestions. Please feel free to send them to this email address here or through commentary on the blog.

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