Reflections on the Africa INTA Conference as INTA Barcelona Draws Near.
Last year Rouse Africa attended the first INTA conference held on the Continent. The 2 day meeting was held in Cape Town South Africa and saw over 190 attendees from 36 countries across the world. Most notable was the number of African agents in attendance which is likely due to the fact that it was in Africa making travel expenses slightly cheaper than other INTA conference venues.
Feedback from Rouse Africa meeting participants was that there is a lot happening in terms of IP landscape in Africa and that there are very exciting times ahead.
One take away that was reflected in all the presentations and discussions was the marked improvements of the IP systems in various jurisdiction on the continent, Discussions around areas for further improvement centered around enforcement and access to information.
While IP filing and prosecution systems are becoming more streamlined, enforcement of IP rights is still a challenge. Participants cited the limited capacity of customs staff dealing with counterfeits as well as lack of specialist Judges and reporting of IP decisions as some of the areas that could change the face of enforcement in Africa.
The meeting participants being from a wide spectrum of jurisdictions also emphasized the need for more online IP data generally and specifically filing statistics and enforcement rulings. These statistics would go a long way towards assisting practitioners that represent global brands in advising their clients who may want to protect their IP in Africa. Enforcement rulings would also provide insight into how the courts on the continent interpret various aspects of IP law.
To contact our INTA team, kindly email Rouse Africa