Tuesday 11 February 2014

Caroline B Ncube

IP policies in Africa: no. 14 Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire currently does not have a national IP policy (see a listing of its IP texts on WIPOLex here).* There is no listing of any IP policy formulation technical assistance (see WIPO database search results here) so it appears that a policy is not yet in the offing. Bitterly disappointed and seeking comfort, this Leo looked up IP news and trivia that has a (sometimes tenuous) link to Cote d'Ivoire, some of which she shares below.

Cote d'Ivoire renowned for its soccer players, national soccer team (the elephants) and cocoa. It has a lot on the line as far as IP and trade in IP protected products and services are concerned.
source: British Museum
source: wikipedia
source: wikipedia commons

The country is the world's leading producer of cocoa and there are significant concerns about sustainable cocoa farming, fair labour and pricing practices in view of the high profitability of end products such as chocolate bars and beverages. The trademark protection of these products has led to several disputes.

Nestle sources cocoa for the production of its Kit Kat from Cote d'Ivoire from where it committed to purchase fairtrade cocoa in 2009 (see here ) and has since obtained fairtrade certification for its UK Kit Kat products (see here). In South Africa, Nestle has been embroiled in a trademark dispute with IFFCO over its Kit Kat brand. In November 2013 the Pretoria High Court ruled that IFFCO's Tiffany Break did not infringe the Kit Kat trademarks (see the judgement here). Nestle is taking the matter on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (see media report here).
source: Daily Mail UK 
source: Confectionery News

source: Confectionery News

After the vain search for IP policy but somewhat soothed by the above image, news and triva haul, this Leo is now going to have a break... and take a nap (not a Kit Kat!)

* thanks to Hafeni Ashimbonde for his research assistance.

Caroline B Ncube

Caroline B Ncube

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