This Afro Leo's First January Post (delayed due to a xmas break) is, as usual, Janus-like in its glance over some of the major issues in 2011 and forthcoming projects in 2012.
Some highlights in 2011 include :
- Really a lowlight but a very significant incident was the murder of customs official Johan Nortje which provoked well over 300 concerned readers to vote on the Afro-IP poll for an urgent investigation and which lead to World Trade Mark Review's grilling of Ronald Noble and Kunio Mikuriya of Interpol and WCO, respectively, about the incident - highlighting the stakes in the counterfeiting business in Africa.
- INTA's response(s) to the omission of the Africa focus for the 2012 INTA meeting following an outcry from readers, are greatly appreciated - Africa remains firmly on INTA's IP agenda.
- Jeremy's Monday posts from roving cyber reporter Kingsley Ebgonou whose efforts in highlighting the the online presence (sadly, mostly absence) of African IP Registries have started to elicit change and a great deal of interest. His most recent excursion to Malawi must have felt like fishing for shark at their stunning Monkey Bay.
- South Africa's TKgate (click here) exposed by Professor Dean in his new post as the Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property at Stellenbosch University. If the name of the post is mouthful its vision to be "the custodian of South African IP law" is certainly not.
- The retirement of probably the most active and well respected IP Judge in South Africa, if not the continent - Louis Harms. His departure leaves a worrying gap on the South Africa bench. If only the South African public paid as much attention to its judicial bench as it did to Bismark Du Plessis' worrying presence on bench at last year's Rugby World Cup.
- The IP interest in Africa's 55th country - South Sudan - which has given rise to a great number of online hits as did the Libya update by Spoor and Fisher on the Afro-IP Linkedin group.
- The rise of new African IP blogs such as IPKenya and social media tweeters with an African bite such as @IPinAfrica and @cr8veDesignLaw (Adams & Adams) to name a few, apart from @afroip of course.
- ARIPO's newsletter content that is excellent in depth and breadth - long may it last.
- Nigeria embracing the role of IP in nation building and the role of overseas base institutions such as WIPO, CLDP and PIPRA in promoting African IP together with the constant and appreciated support of the IPKAT weblog.
- The launch of the Anti-Counterfeit Friday posts to promote the extent of the problem on the continent.
- Recognition of Afro-IP by:
Best wishes for 2012!!