Discussion: IP trends in Africa
The Asia of tomorrow or boom and bust?
The African continent is one of the most difficult regions to protect and enforce IP rights even though it is increasingly becoming important for IP owners to obtain adequate and sufficient IP protection in many African jurisdictions. There are uncertainties in this region with a question often asked being whether or not Africa will ever see a real economic boom that was seen in Asia over the past half-century. The answer to this question is uncertain, although provision should be made by IP owners for this possibility. In this session, we explore the latest developments in key issues that impact the convenience to IP owners to file in Africa: digitization, skills development at IPO’s and the expansion and effectiveness of IP treaties.
Mr. Christophe van Zyl, Head of Dennemeyer’s Africa Practice Group and partner, Dennemeyer & Associates South Africa leads the session on Dec. 7 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
Facts and Figures: an overview of Africa demographically, economically and politically
Our discussion starts with an exploration of some facts which explain the current demographic, political and economic status of Sub-Saharan Africa, current economic trends and the impact of demographics on future growth. Which countries are seeing growth, which are struggling and why? What are the challenges of a few key powerhouses in the region: South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya? Which are the surprise countries with high growth? What is going to happen in Zimbabwe with the recent removal of Robert Mugabe?
Filing Statistics in Africa
Where are IP owners filing in Africa, what are they filing and why?
Digitization and skills development efforts in key jurisdictions
Digitization or a lack thereof is a key challenge for IP Counsel in Africa. Filing should be cheap, fast and convenient in order to make it a worthwhile effort to obtain protection. Fortunately, the issue of digitization is moving to the forefront, especially in South Africa which has plans to fully digitize the trademark filing process in 2018. We explore these trends.
Treaties, their effectiveness and trends
Several African countries are part of the Madrid trademark system however many in the past did not have implementing legislation. We explore the current status of Madrid and Africa as well as South Africa’s plans to join the Madrid system and become a substantive examining jurisdiction. How realistic is it that certain African countries can develop their own examination and what other solutions are proposed? The European Patent Office has entered into validation agreements with Morocco and Tunisia in North Africa - will outsourcing be a solution or possibility in Sub-Saharan Africa?