Friday, 3 February 2012

South Sudan - IP progress is slow

News on IP developments in South Sudan is difficult to come by which is why Afro Leo was chuffed to receive a note from Simon Brown on colleague Theuns van De Merwe's recent trip to Juba. It is an update on Theun's report received by Afro Leo in September last year, and follows a progress note from SMAS Intellectual Property in December. The note says:

"Whilst we had fruitful discussions and deliberations with officials from both the Ministries of Justice and Trade & Commerce as well as the Chief & Deputy Registrars at the Business Registry under whose responsibility the Trade Mark Office operates, it was not possible to obtain clarity on the issue. It became evident that the current political and socio-economic climate in South Sudan is weighing in on the current efforts to formalise associated rules, processes and systems.   As things stand, the Registry in South Sudan is not consistently processing trade mark applications. When it does so, it is not clear whether the applications are processed under the auspices of the Sudanese Trade Marks Act, 1969 and its regulations or a sui generis system.   However, it is clear that rights obtained in Sudan (North) do not extend to South Sudan."  

Simon's firm is committed to finding out more about South Sudan and Afro-IP appreciates the updates.

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