Monday, 23 April 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.45: South Africa

It's now week 45 of Kingsley Egbuonu's almost interminable alphabetical trek round the official IP websites of African nations. But the end is in sight and it won't be so long before we're into the 'Z's. This week it's the turn of South Africa -- a country which makes a great deal more use of the internet than do many other developing jurisdictions. Kingsley reports as follows:
Overview 
South Africa is a Contracting Party to a number of treaties on intellectual property (IP) including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. 
Copyright Office 
• The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in South Africa. 
• The website for this office is www.cipc.co.za
Industrial Property Office 
• The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is the competent office responsible for the administration of industrial property rights in South Africa. 
• The website for this office is www.cipc.co.za. • The CIPC maintains two IP databases: a free one for public users and another which is fee-based for professional users 
Social Media Presence 
No official presence found. 
Intellectual Property update in South Africa 
No recent update found. 
Conclusion 
The websites that we found for South Africa’s IP office are customer-focused, well organised and appear user-friendly; but more importantly, they have an IP search facility. 
But are these findings entirely surprising? The answer should be in negative. South Africa is the biggest economy in Africa by GDP and represents Africa within the BRICS. Other factors include a vibrant intellectual property community in the South Africa Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL), which is more active than its counterparts in Africa. No wonder that South Africa has numerous informed domestic laws concerning IP, including this eye-catching piece of legislation titled: Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act No. 51 of 2008 and that the first-ever Africa IP summit -–now postponed-- was scheduled to be held in Cape Town
Still surprised? You shouldn’t be. Rather ask yourself who is Afro-IP’s blogmeister. In all, this shows that a lively and serious IP community in any country would help towards respect, better development and promotion of IP in that particular country. Although Afro-IP would like to see South Africa’s IP office on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn, its website is the best we have seen thus far in the A-Z series. South Africa is truly a country which sees IP as important as other tools for its economic development.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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