The Minister of Science and Technology intends introducing the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill, 2015 into Parliament during the 2016 calendar year. The TK Bill aims to provide for:
- the protection, promotion, development and management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems
- the establishment and functions of the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office
- the managements of rights of IK holders
- the establishment and functions of an Advisory Panel
- for access and conditions of access to knowledge of indigenous communities
- for the registration, accreditation and certification of IK practitioners
- the facilitation of IK based innovation
Readers will be aware that the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act (IPA) was signed in December 2013 and we are still waiting for regulations before it will come into force. This Act alters the existing IP legislation to protect IK. How this Act will sit alongside the Bill is not entirely clear. Indeed, readers may recall the significant controversy over the Act with many suggesting that a stand alone piece of legislation would be preferable. The question which Afro Leo has is will we ever have the regulations to the IPA (its been over two years) and are the critics satisfied with this Bill?
Afro-IP will be following the progression of this legislation with interest. One thing for sure is that if you are using any traditional knowledge in your business, including traditional or cultural expressions, you need to stay up to date because the legislation will affect your business.