Friday, 27 May 2011

NIPMO picking up a head of steam

Anyone wondering how newly formed NIPMO (National Intellectual Property Management Office) is getting along? Quite well it seems from this Business Day article:

"The agency is now fully operational and has begun to add value to several investment opportunities," she [Naledi Pandor] said.

"At present 26 investments have been identified.

"Eleven have a very strong likelihood of enhancing job creation and socioeconomic development. Eleven others have proceeded beyond proof of concept stage and four are ready for commercialisation."

Quoted speakers highlight that two main problems hamper innovation in RSA: ignorance and cost. [Not sure I entirely agree here. I see innovation everyday. It's the conversion to cash and the related protection that's missing and yes, cost and ignorance are significant barriers to that. Of course, innovation would be increased in the cycle too.]

According to the article, NIPMO are offering a 50% rebate on the costs incurred by institutions in patenting their products and have teamed up with Oxford Uni, WIPO and Waikato Uni to address the ignorance aspect, through training. [Nice.]

Other news is that NIPMO's dispute panel is likely to be announced soon. Nominations closed on 6 May, according to their advert.

Afro Leo has marvelled at the ideals of NIPMO and not without some degree of cynicism. But there is no problem in aiming high and it's good to read about positive developments, even if the quoted entry cost of getting a patent registered in RSA R35000 ($5000) is probably a little high. Simple patents can cost much less. But only 91 patents registered last year in RSA by RSA inventors - hell that's poor - and for this NIPMO deserves all the support this blog can give.

Posted by Darren

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