Saturday, 13 September 2014

Caroline B Ncube

IP policies in Africa no. 34: Morocco

Morocco does not yet have an IP policy nor was this Leo able to find any information on the development of such a policy. She decided to poke about to see what the country has been up to recently in the hope that this would reveal what a Moroccan IP policy is likely to prioritise.

Morocco is party to  a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US (see full text here) and a co-operation agreement with the EPO (see here). Pursuant to her signature of the FTA,  Morocco has a TRIPS- plus IP regulatory framework. Presumably also linked to this relationship with the US, Morocco was the only African country involved in the negotiation and conclusion of the ill-fated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which she signed in 2011 (see here). All of this may be an indicator that the country favours a strong (read TRIPS plus) regime which this Leo fears may not be appropriate for a developing country. However, the country has shown some appreciation of the need to have a properly nuanced IP regime that caters for users through its signature of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. It remains to be seen when the county will ratify the treaty and how her IP policy would balance her FTA obligations with user and societal rights.

WIPOLex entry here
for a discussion of the Morocco-US FTA see Omar Aloui 'Intellectual Property Rights' in Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Claire Brunel and Dean DeRosa (ed.s) Capitalizing on the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement: A Road Map for Success (Policy Analyses in International Economics) (2009) pp147 - 162 ; full text here

Caroline B Ncube

Caroline B Ncube

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14 September 2014 at 17:30 delete

Further to your blog item on 14 September 2014, regarding Morocco's TRIPS-Plus copyright regime as a result of the US Free Trade Agreement, see Legal and Regulatory Recommendations in the ACA2K Executive Policy Brief : Morocco -