Thursday, 19 February 2015

IP policies in Africa no.51: Tunisia

Tunisia does not yet have an IP policy but in 2013, a new Constitution was passed which provides that “intellectual property is guaranteed” (Article 41) and that the“State encourages cultural creation” (Article 42). As noted by Abdel-Latif (here) this will require unpacking in a proper public policy instrument to ensure that both aspirations are realised through an IP framework that appropriately nuanced. Hopefully, work will soon begin on a policy to  inform such a framework.

PAIPO host
Tunisia was confirmed as the host of the Headquarters and Secretariat of PAIPO by
the AU Assembly’s 23rd Ordinary Session held in June 2014. This decision is recorded as item 6 of the Assembly/AU/Dec.522(XXIII) which you can view here.

As noted by Jeremy recently (here), it has been incorrectly reported that Tunisia will host OAPI (Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle) which already has a home in Yaounde, Cameroon. This error seems to have come about the omission of the 'Pan' in PAIPO's name. So it was reported that the African IP Organisation (OAPI) was going to be hosted by Tunisia, rather than the Pan-African IP Organisation (PAIPO).  The two organisations' names are very similar and the distinction between them is likely to be lost to those outside the IP world, so it is easy to see how the error occurred.

If both organisations are to co-exist in the future, we'll probably see many more instances of the same error. Especially since sometimes OAPI is referred to AIPO, which is its Anglophone name's acronym. So the organisations may  find that an educational campaign will be in order. This Leo's not copywriter, but perhaps  PAIPO not OAPI/AIPO! will do.  


Some Tunisian architecture from Promotunisis


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See Tunisia's WIPOLex entry here 
See Ahmed Abdel-Latif's commentary on Tunisia's constitutional provisions on IP here  and a related Afro-IP post here

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