Sunday, 6 July 2014
Afro-IP news bulletin: Granted patents in South Africa, calls for IP review in Nigeria etc
(1) Pluristem holds two patents in South Africa
First, via MarketWatch, Afro-IP understands that Pluristem Therapeutics Inc, a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapies, has received Patent No. 261087 from India's Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks for a patent titled, "Methods for Cell Expansion and Conditioned Media Produced Thereby for Therapy."
The report states that the patent covers the company's key technology platform; its method for 3-dimensional expansion of placental and adipose (fat) derived cells, and the composition of cells derived using this method.
The second patent, as reported by WSJ, covers methods for treating ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease using placenta-derived cells. [Afro-IP is not sure if both patents are related]
(2) Firma Holdings Corp and CollPlant also hold South African patents
Staying with South Africa is the news that Tara Minerals (now known as Firma Holdings Corp) have acquired a number of “…patents, trademarks and other intellectual property in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, Japan, and Chile regarding systems and methods for packaging of bulk quantities of fresh produce and flowers incorporating modified atmosphere packaging. The acquisition also includes pending applications throughout the world regarding the active treatment of modified atmosphere packaging.”
Well, we already know that South Africa currently flies the flag for the continent in the area of IP. Hopefully, this is a good sign for more foreign direct investment.
(3) A call for IP law review in Nigeria, among others
The Vanguard Nigeria recaps on last month’s conference on ICT development in Nigeria which featured stakeholders such as NOTAP, EFCC [this anti-graft agency is getting more involved in IP enforcement work than ever before] and ISPON.
In summary, representatives of these organisations, particularly NOTAP, spoke about the need to: (a) review Nigeria’s colonial trade mark and patent laws; (b) revamp the IP offices; (c) foster knowledge transfer between industry and universities, and (d) reduce Nigeria’s dependency on foreign IP. Obviously, a conference like this one won’t be complete without addressing or emphasising the importance of IP protection and enforcement. [Afro-IP commends the work of NOTAP, under the leadership of Engr. Umar Buba Bindir]
This Leo assumes that the relevant government ministries or agencies are also reaching out to experts like Professor Adewopo.
(4) Hotels warned on payment of royalties
Nigeria's collecting society, COSON, talks tough to get hotels to pay up, according to This Day Live. [Afro Leo can imagine how extremely difficult it is for COSON to identify business premises without appropriate music licences across the vast 36 States of Nigeria. Equally, he understands how business owners might be worried about potentially handing over hard-earned money to the wrong outfit] Lessons from other developing nations (also here, here and here) or even developed ones, will indeed help COSON deliver for copyright owners.
(5) The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) publishes the 12th edition of the IP Roadmap
Last but not least, trust the ICC to have their finger on the pulse of global innovation and IP issues (previously noted by Afro-IP here). Its “popular” IP report, targeting policymakers and business leaders worldwide, is out! The accompanying press release states: “…Containing contributions from experts around the world, the report has this year been restructured to better reflect the way businesses consider intellectual property (IP) as an asset that can be used to create value for their companies, for consumers and for society as a whole. Each section explains the background and the current landscape as well as provides perspectives for the future.”