Report on recent ARIPO patent drafting course in Zimbabwe

One of Rouse Africa's directors, Bastiaan Koster, was a lecturer at a patent drafting course for ARIPO members on 7-11 September 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Each ARIPO country could send one member on this course. Emmanuel Jelsch from Katzarov, Switzerland and Takao Matsui from Okabe, Japan also lectured on the course. The week provided an opportunity to engage with each of the 19 delegates. Zimbabwe was the only country with more than one attendee. The main points coming from conversations were that: Their local economies are still slow although they are optimistic and all believe there is huge potential in their respective countries. Many ARIPO countries have recently had changes in governme

ARIPO v National Courts

Two cases in Kenya illustrate the difficulties countries face handling ARIPO patents. (See here for details about ARIPO.) The fundamental question is whether issues relating to ARIPO patents can be decided by national courts? It ought to be obvious, but lack of implementing regulations and lack of clarity on how extra territorial rights can be dealt with locally, are common problems in ARIPO countries. Kenya now has clear decisions on the issue. The first case is the 2010 decision in Chemserve Cleaning Services Ltd v Sanitam Services Ltd. Chemserve filed a case claiming that Kenya's Industrial Property Tribunal (IPT) lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine issues regarding an application

June - August 2015 IP Registration Figures, Kenya

In the last 3 months the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) published the June, July and August Industrial Property Journals setting out the various IP registrations received and registered along with amendments, notices of applications and registrations being expunged from the register. The journal is published monthly and sets out all registrations that have been granted up until the 20th day of the calendar month, wherafter the journal entries are closed. The journals are published on the KIPI website, with physical copies available for sale. Below is a summary of the various IP registrations over the last 3 months. Considering the 3rd quarter figures against the most recent avail

Kenya Copyright Boards Recent Figures on Enforcement and Raids in 2015

The recently published 17th quarterly edition of ‘Copyright News’ (a publication of the Kenya Copyright Board) sets out its enforcement activities between the April to July 2015. The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) [1] was established by section 3 of the Kenyan Copyright Act 2001 as a State Corporation under the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. KECOBO is responsible for reviewing legislation, implementation of laws and international treaties, enforcement and prosecution of copyright cases, conducting training programmes and advocacy on public on matters related to copyright and licensing, as well as licensing and supervising the activities of collective managemen

A draft Copyright Amendment Bill for South Africa

On 27 July 2015 the Department of Trade and Industry published its draft Copyright Amendment Bill for public comment. While there are many issues of South African copyright law that need addressing in order to bring it into the digital age, the Bill has been largely received with frustration and alarm. The Bill introduces many new concepts which don’t belong in the Copyright Act, such as “phonograms”, which covers the same subject matter as sound recordings and “moral rights for performers”, whose legislative home is more likely the Performers Protection Act. “Craft works” are introduced as a new type of work but appear to cover the same things as “works of craftsmanship” which is a subset o

Anti-Piracy Devices for Audio Visual Works in Kenya

In the period April to July the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) reported that it filed 19 cases before the High Court. A majority of the cases involved the offence of offering for sale copyright works without an authentication device contrary to section 36(5) of the Kenyan Copyright Act 2001. Within the same period, a Nairobi criminal court heard the cases of 3 persons were charged with 2 counts of offering for sale copyright works. Two of the three person charged were fined a total of $400 (Ksh.40,000) with the third accused sentenced to pay a fine of $500 (Ksh 50,000) and in default of the fine, a prison sentence of 6 months. Section 36 of the Kenya Copyright Act (the Act) is based on the f

ARIPO - the Anglophone countries regional filing system

ARIPO is the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization which began in December 1976 under the Lusaka Agreement. Its HQ is in Harare, Zimbabwe and there are 19 Member States: Botswana, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which cover 450 million people. ARIPO has numerous promotion and capacity building initiatives and runs a regional IP filing system. A series of 4 Protocols govern the various IP filings systems (Patents, Utility Models, Designs, Trade marks, Plant Varieties and Traditional Knowledge. The problem is not every member has

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