Wednesday 12 March 2014


UNITAR presents: E-learning courses on IP and so on - scholarships also available

"DeGeneres “selfie” is a golden opportunity to improve IP education" is the title of a post on Managing IP's blog. Scrambling the internet in search of relevant intellectual property-related news for Afro-IP, this Leo came across what he thought may be of interest to some of our readers (including himself - considering that he was recently pondering the intricacy between protection of cultural heritage and IP) or people we know. Thanks to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), one of the many alternatives to WIPO's Academy (including this) is available. 

This Leo must admit that he was unaware of the existence of UNITAR. However, he is not at all surprised that UNITAR exists within (and amongst others) or affiliated with the mammoth intergovernmental organisation. So, what does UNITAR have on offer for $600 (USD)?

(1) The Settlement of Disputes under the World Trade Organization (WTO) - 05 May - 06 Jun 2014. Click here for course details.

Considering that the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism/Body (hereinafter, 'DSB') covers TRIPS-related disputes, this course is, somewhat, relevant to IP enthusiasts. Having said that, it is a rare occurrence for IP disputes between nations to come before the DSB: in the last 5 years, it only received 7 complaints - the latest between Australia and Indonesia (About plain packaging). In case you wish to swiftly learn if or why the DSB is so successful, Afro Leo directs you here.

(2) Introduction to International Intellectual Property Law - 12 May - 13 Jun 2014. Click here for course details. Exactly as described: A primer on IP law.

(3) Introduction to Privacy and Data Protection Law - 02 Jun - 04 Jul 2014. Click here for course details. Now this one is very interesting. The trend in ICT users, entertainment/media (also here) and intelligence gathering across African countries makes this a topical subject-area for stakeholders including lawmakers, regulators, companies (e.g Google), and obviously, legal practitioners. Want to know what some UK lawyers have got to deal with or say in this area? click here, here and here.

First and most importantly, this Leo is glad to note that UNITAR "offers a limited number of full fellowships (a.k.a scholarships) per course to public sector officials from low-income countries including least developed countries (LDCs)." Well, that is currently over 70% of the African continent

While e-learning across the African continent is gaining momentum, there is still the obvious and well-publicised difficulties with access to internet in most of its countries. You may wish to visit Tim Katlic's for A-Z guide and updates.

If you have undertaken UNITAR's e-learning courses (especially, the IP ones), please do feel free to leave comment(s) to tell others about your experience including if there are other similar low-cost or free IP education programmes.

IP education or continuing professional development in IP, there you go! 

Want to view the Public Finance and Trade Training catalogue, click here
For those delivering and/or designing the programme (a.k.a 'e-Course Moderators'), is here



Subscribe via email (you'll be added to our Google Group)