Friday 18 April 2014


Friday safaris

Innovation and IP Management
Open innovation is the use of “purposeful inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate innovation internally while also expanding the markets for the external use of innovation”. That is the definition in the second research paper by the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Intellectual Property titled, 'The Open Innovation Model'.

The authors conclude, among others, that: (a) open innovation is expected to dominate the innovation model in the 21st century; (b) companies should comfortably use patents to share knowledge, technology as well as demonstrate the value of R&D; and (c) policymakers can encourage open innovation by taking steps such as improving the quality of patents. [Can one ever improve that with a deposit system?] Afro Leo thinks that this paper is ideal for both private and public sector policymakers. Anyone interested in IP management will equally find it instructive.

LogoThis news report tells us that Nigeria's indefatigable collecting society, COSON, has signed up to the Interested Parties Information (IPI) system which is administered by the Swiss collecting society, SUISA. The IPI system - endorsed by CISAC (a network which lists COSON as its member) -  is used to trace the owner of various copyright works used worldwide. COSON is equally interested in the 'WAR AGAINST CANCER' in Nigeria.

Patents I
Patents for Humanity logoYou might have already heard this somewhere else (e.g. here); but just in case, a loud high five to the U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) who recently announced that its Patents for Humanity initiative is being renewed as an annual competition. The programme recognises businesses, inventors, non-profits, and universities who leverage their intellectual property portfolio to tackle global humanitarian challenges. Winners receive an accelerated processing of select matters at the USPTO. For more details, click here and here.

Patents II
ViiV HealthcareThe ever-reliable IP Watch informs us that the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has announced two new licencing agreements with the private sector joint venture ViiV Healthcare. This deal is expected to see an increase in the access to a new antiretroviral drugs in countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. (Previous Afro-IP posts citing MPP include here and here. Another source for this news is here). 

IPRs and domain names
HomepageThe representatives of South Africa's ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) have signed an agreement that would see the launch of the .africa internet domain name (gTLD) in May 2014, reports dot Africa. Bursting the happy bubble is WebTechLaw director, Paul Jacobson, who warns domain owners that the warranties they agreed to when signing up for a domain (which will apply to .africa) are overly onerous and could leave them with serious IP infringement liabilities and associated costs. [Afro Leo kindly asks readers to shade light on this matter including, if publicly available, directing us all to the actual agreement] What do Nominet (.uk ccTLD registry) and  Neustar (.us ccTLD registry) say in their T&Cs?

Plant Variety Protection 
UPOV HomeFinally, and better late than never, a Leo roar to Afro-IP's friend, Tom Suchanandan, for alerting us to this strongly-worded letter (by concerned groups) against ARIPO's Draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants - which has since received a stamp of approval by the UPOV's council. [Did ARIPO receive assistance from UPOV in drafting this, in the first place?]. In summary, the alliance wrote: "The Draft Protocol clearly lacks credibility and legitimacy. We strongly urge you to reject the Draft Protocol and that the Draft Protocol should be sent back to the drawing board; that ARIPO consult with smallholder farmers and civil society in all ARIPO member states; and, especially, that it discusses appropriate and equitable PVP regime that reflects conditions and realities prevailing in ARIPO countries, the obligation of protecting biodiversity, incorporates farmers’ interests and rights and safeguards to protect public interests and prevent biopiracy." The proffered benefits of plant variety to farmers and growers can be heard here 



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