Monday, 26 May 2014

Monday safaris

Nigeria: COSON talks peace
Remember last January's guest post by Olumayowa O. Adesanya which looked beyond the wrangling between COSON, and BON/IBAN? This Leo now understands that the end is or maybe in sight for the CRISIS. [Says Afro Leo, about time, no more chaos! He also knows that COSON is really working hard to let the music pay, and wishes they do their best to keep it that way. If talks get heated, COSON and co might consider some soothing music by the captivating Njabulo Madlala - especially, track 23]

This Leo is left wondering: considering the economic potential of Nigeria's entertainment industry, is it worthwhile exploring an independent alternative dispute resolution service or even, establishing a copyright tribunal? Maybe something exists; will be good to know. 

PIIPA Survey for the Future 2014
Public Interest Intellectual Property AdvisorsAfro-IP is pleased to spread the word that PIIPA is seeking your input on how it should strategically plan its future, see PIIPA’s March 2014 newsletter. They're counting on you; so please spare a few minutes to complete the survey, anonymously if you like, by Wednesday, 28 May. 

Sierra Leone: ARIPO on a mission
According to this news report, ARIPO held a three-day round-table conference titled, “Making Better use of Intellectual Property for Business Competitiveness and Development in Africa". The event is said to have attracted several personalities including government ministers, members of the business community, artistes, other senior government officials as well as experts and inventors. Its aim was to promote the use of IP through awareness raising and the promotion of innovation. 

South Africa: Exchange Control and IP
TechCentral reports that South African technology companies can meaningfully engage in offshore IP transfer as the Exchange Control Regulations have now been relaxed. Chris Bull, IP director at ENSafrica, explains in the report: “...In essence, the guidance from the South African Reserve Bank is that it will allow private companies operating in these sectors to seek approval for a primary listing offshore or to raise capital and loans offshore on the back of their IP assets...” 

This Leo isn't sure if this news is current or old, neither could he find any official confirmation; however, he tracked something here. Afro-IP has posted on this matter, first in 2009 (with an explanation on how it works in licensing) and subsequently (here, here and here). Surely, anything to help South African companies exploit their IP sounds like good news to the IP community. This news reminds this Leo of Pfizer's recent takeover bid for AstraZeneca - which commentators mention the UK's Patent Box regime as one of the factors behind the bid. [Though there is a debate (e.g. here, here and here) on whether the regime encourages more innovation from SMEs

South Africa II: Propanc's patent application granted 
Although there are many more that we don't often hear about (not that we need to as it won't surprise anyone), this Leo has picked out from MarketWatch's article that Propanc has already obtained a South African patent for its latest endeavours in cancer treatment. A little dig around its website tells us, among others, that, Propanc is building an IP portfolio (which it co-owns with the University of Bath) around our scientific understanding of the effects of proenzymes in cancer, identifying new formulations, new routes of administration and potential new therapeutic targets.

The company is also looking at building much-needed credibility within the scientific community. To see the UK IPO's guide to IP in R&D and knowledge transfer activities between companies and publicly-funded research organisations (e.g. universities), see here; for University of Bath's IP policy, is here.

Events you might be interested in:
(1) Uganda
Arbitration looks like it's on the rise and rise across the African continent - thanks to those who do not wish to get bogged down by the arduous civil justice system, among other reasons. The IT/telecoms industry in Africa is growing and IP arbitration might soon become common. Anyway, if you're in Kampala, Uganda, from 13 - 14 June, there is a conference on international commercial arbitration. More details can be found here

(2) UK
For those in the UK, the Law Society's International Division tells us that there is an upcoming event titled, 'Global African Investment Summit'. This event will feature four African Heads of State as well as ministers and business leaders from various sectors.
Date: 20th and 21st of October 2014 
Venue: The Savoy London,
For more information, visit here.


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