Following the recent reports on the imminent release of South Africa's IP policy for public comment (here and here), this Leo decided to follow Kingsley's lead and start a new A-Z series on IP policies on the continent (see here and here for a recap of Kingsley's A-Z series on the online presence of IP offices).
The purpose of this new A-Z series is to:
1. determine if a country has an IP policy in place;
2. if there is a policy in place, to review the policy; and
3. if there is no policy, to establish if there is any publicly available information on the preparation of such a policy.
The series begins this week with a visit to Algeria:
Algeria does not have an IP policy. The WIPO Lex page on Algeria does not list an IP policy nor is one available on the National Office of Copyrights and Related Rights’ (ONDA) website and the Algerian National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) website.
The country is in the process of formulating an IP policy and is receiving technical assistance from WIPO under Development Agenda Project DA_10_05: Development of National IP Strategies. See here for WIPO's approach to the formulation of IP policies. The IP for Development Program's technical assistance database lists meetings held in 2011 and 2012 on the formulation of an IP policy for Algeria. Further details of how the policy formulation process has unfolded in Algeria are not publicly available nor has draft policy been made available online.
This tour raises the important question of whether an IP policy is a 'must' or 'nice to have'. Should African countries have IP policies? If they should, what would a good IP policy look like or what would it seek to achieve? What do Afro-IP readers think about these issues? Please share your thoughts by commenting on this post.