Friday, 17 January 2014

South Africa: what happened to the Protection of Traditional Knowledge Bill?

An Afro-IP reader emailed me this afternoon to remind me to make good on a promise I made last year. In December 2013, I reported that the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 28 of 2013 (IPLAA) had been gazetted and undertook to write a follow up post on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge Bill, a private member's bill that had been proffered as an alternative to the IPLAA  (See that post here and my earlier thoughts on the constitutional significance of both bills here). These two bills have been the subject of much commentary on Afro-IP and providing links to all the relevant posts  here is a daunting task, so I'll leave it to readers to search the blog for them. 

 Bill in a maze
CC BY-SA golbenge (골뱅이) 
After a series of  Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry sessions, some of  which I attended, the Protection of Traditional Knowledge Bill was rejected by the committee in November 2013 (see the committee's report here).  It will thus not proceed any further through the legislative process (which is outlined here and here and often seems like a maze). 

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