Monday 6 April 2015


Busy time for Africa at WIPO - Part I

Image result for wipo
An ardent and long-standing reader has sent Afro-IP this piece which somewhat chimes with Caroline's post on South Africa's long-awaited Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill (2014). Here is what our friend says:

There has been a lot of Africa-focused activity at WIPO this month; and with the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) meeting coming up in a few weeks, that activity isn't going to slow down any time soon.

Over the past few weeks, WIPO jointly hosted two separate programs on Africa and IP. Program no.1, involving the Japan Patent Office, ARIPO and the Government of Uganda, was titled “Strategic Use of the Intellectual Property (IP) System for Economic, Cultural, Social and Technological Development”.  The program, which was held in Kampala, featured speakers from all of the host organizations as well as experts from Kenya.  The topics covered the following:  Creative Industries for Economic Growth and Development (copyright); Use of Technical and Scientific Information for Technology Capacity Building (one of many focused on patents); and Significance of Trademarks, Industrial Designs, Utility Models and Geographical Indications for Commerce and Development (everything else).  Full agenda is available here. 

Program no.2 - which was held in Geneva, thanks to the generosity of Australian Aid - was titled “Seminar on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs): Regional, National and Local Experiences”. The program featured speakers from Peru, Jamaica, Romania, Finland, India and Kenya sharing their experiences with protecting TK and TCEs.  Session topics also covered IP and development, the interplay of TK and TCEs with the concept of the public domain, and experiences on introducing IP legislation.  Full agenda is available here (link no longer available). 

It makes sense to see Australia in program no.2 since its Aboriginal culture laws (also here + New Zealand) are often held up as examples in the fields of TK and TCEsSpecial mention goes to an IP expert in great demand Ms. Marisela Ouma (Kenya Copyright Board), who was a presenter at both of these programs.

If you were able to attend either of these programs and would like to report on them in more depth, please do let us know or post your comments below. Thanks.



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