Wednesday 1 April 2009

Darren Olivier

G20 IP debates

Leaders of the world’s largest economies struck a closed-door deal late Tuesday to create an international court for intellectual property litigation in a move sources said they deemed a contribution to the global economy, according to reputable IP Watch.

And, reports emerging from Downing Street over the weekend underlined that Britain would like to get tougher on tax havens by making them "increasingly unacceptable and costly to operate". The reports focus on virtually the entire list of abuses identified in the Guardian's recent Tax Gap investigation which revealed how companies are now alleged to be shifting valuable intellectual property such as patents and consumer brands into tax havens. A key reform the government is reported to be pressing for is to tighten up the rules on transactions with tax-haven companies. Obama, before he became president, famously said that an office block in the British-controlled Cayman Islands acted as headquarters for 12,000 companies. (The Guardian)

South Africa is the only African nation in the G20 and it is a pity there is not more representation because both debates (tax havens and an international court) could significantly affect countries in the world's second most populous continent. Take for example, Mauritius which features prominently on global IP filing statistics (and flourishes as a result) primarily because it is a tax haven. And an International Court - how will specific needs of developing countries be catered for?

Darren Olivier

Darren Olivier

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2 April 2009 at 08:41 delete

Please read IP Watch carefully and note the date of the post