Thursday, 9 August 2012

Thursday bits and bobs

This day is Women's Day in South Africa. It is a day to commemorate the march of women in 1956 to petition against oppressive legislation but is also now much more than that. The entire country takes a break to recognise the achievements of women in society. It also means that you will get an "out of office" from most local IP practitioners, so be prepared.

Over on the Afro-IP Linkedin Group Sunny Lin posted a question on how to start and administrative action in Sudan. It seems that a well known Chinese brand is being counterfeited in that country. This will be of special interest to those who are following the development of Chinese "formal" IP and also evidence of a reversal from China as the stereotypical "copiers" to China as "creators and protectors of IP", and Africa from the "the dumping ground for Chinese counterfeit goods" to counterfeiters themselves. Of course, we have known this for a while.

Turning stateside, WSJ MarketWatch carries a press release from Silicon Valley based Sable Network advertising a unique service which seeks to garner RSA ex-pat skills to mentor and assist entrepreneurs, product innovators and universities with new venture growth, technology transfer and foreign market access. Afro-IP notices that there is much talk about intellectual property in the release but no noticeable expert to provide the skills, so we have written in to see how we can help.

 Stickers for the clever
Afro Leo wonders whether anyone leaving the country to become the pool of talent that Sable Network wishes to use, will require exchange control approval before they can board the plane - after all they have know-how, know-how is IP and IP is capital according to the changes in the excon regs.

Check in Desk: Anything sharp with your luggage?

Passenger: No, just me.

Check in Desk: Over there please, special scales for valuation and then excess intellect payment there. Next.

A US based company called Knowledge Tree hit the venture capital headlines recently by raising $4.75 million in funding for its cloud based document management business. It gets a mention on this blog because of the company's African origin and also because it seems whilst ideas and innovation are in no short supply here, in order to get real lift off businesses may need to move to countries like the US. Comments welcome.

That said, a recent INSEAD Innovation report states that "The dynamics of global innovation are changing as a result of the activities of emerging economies". According to The Global Innovation Index 2012  strong performances in innovation were highlighted by several emerging economies, including Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Senegal, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. In Africa, Mauritius scores top marks but one questions whether this is simply because of their favourable tax regime for registering/holding IP than strictly as a result of innovation. More info here.

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