Friday, 13 February 2015

5 Reasons why Zuma should have mentioned IP at #SONA2015

IP - he he he 
#SONA2015 trended last night in South Africa with around 3.5 million tweets, mainly because opposition party the EFF was kicked out, the official opposition the DA walked out and then most people seemed to fall asleep. If only JZ mentioned intellectual property, this could have been so very different.  Here are 5 reasons why Zuma should have mentioned IP during his State of the Nation address:

1. "Pay Back the Money" JZ, this is a potentially registrable trade mark. Register it, license it and you could potentially have more than enough money to pay for Nkandla, and statutory rights to deliver up young Julius with or without police force.

2. Property repatriation. There is a saying - "you can take a farmer out of the bush, but you can't take the bush out of a farmer". Link the repatriation scheme with meaningful know-how, patent and PBR protection, focus on free-flow of IP and who knows, the displaced farmer may well find himself a movable asset capable of delivering revenue streams across the continent, all taxable in RSA #justsaying.

3. Celebrating Mandela. You used him in your address, well done. His legacy is so valuable to South Africa as are others. Yours could still be too. So develop working IP infrastructure that supports legacy and traditional knowledge protection (did you mention those IPR Act regulations, languishing somewhere for over a year, or that draft IP Policy?).

4. The Energy Crisis: in the medium and long term innovation is going to solve the energy crisis in South Africa. I mean just look how Sasol did it in the 80s when we were last "cut off". It is no coincidence too that Sasol has one of the largest patent portfolios in the country. Strong, robust and efficient IP infrastructure is key to stimulating and supporting innovation. By the way, those exchange control measures on IP, they are deterring foreign direct investment into our energy sector. True Story.

5. Unemployment:  When resource based industries that have traditionally supported South Africa's workforce are under stress then focus shifts to other means of employment and self sufficiency. The move to a knowledge based economy requires access to information, protection for creative thought and incentives. Copyright legislation and IP infrastructure are key to supporting this transition. 

So, for next year if you need some help with your speech contact us here. We won't charge you time, our IP is far more valuable.



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