Monday, 30 April 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.46: South Sudan

It's now week 46 and Kingsley Egbuonu has landed in a jurisdiction that was not even in existence as an independent state this time last year -- Africa's newest country, South Sudan.  It seems that the fledgling country is making a huge effort at this early stage. Let Kingsley explain in his own words:
"Overview 
The Republic of South Sudan is yet to become a member of WIPO and to ratify any of the treaties administered by it. 
Copyright Office 
• The Directorate of Registration of Businesses, Associations and NGOs (Ministry of Justice) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in South Sudan. 
• The website for this office is www.mojss.org
Industrial Property Office 
• The Directorate of Registration of Businesses, Associations and NGOs (Ministry of Justice) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in South Sudan. 
• The website for this office is www.mojss.org
Social Media Presence 
None found. 
Intellectual Property update in South Sudan 
Afro-IP has reported on various developments of practical significance since 2011 and these can be found here, here and here.
Conclusion 
Less than a year old, South Sudan’s independent existence is still at risk and this may hamper much-needed solid legal foundations to function properly -- intellectual property being the least of its worries. However and not surprising is that this hasn’t prevented China from investing in the country -- and this is more likely to be good news than bad for the people of South Sudan. 
Afro-IP is pleased to at least find that the Ministry of Justice in South Sudan has an informative website and the same Ministry will apparently be in charge of IP administration and/or development. Out of interest, Afro-IP found out that the Government of South Sudan-- @RepSouthSudan --is actually tweeting away on Twitter.   
We are equally glad to learn here and here that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has made the protection of intellectual property rights one of its specific investment policies in order to attract investment in the country. Further, if the Investment Promotion Act of 2009 is anything to go by, then paragraph 35 states that 
“The Government shall protect the intellectual property rights of all persons and investors in Southern Sudan and shall enforce rights to trade marks, copyrights, patents and other intellectual property rights in accordance with any related international conventions to which the Republic of the Sudan is a signatory.” 
When this is read together with Article 28 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (2011), then it is also evidently safe to say that IP protection is in the letter and spirit of the law in South Sudan to convince IP owners. 
Without getting carried away, one thing is for sure: South Sudan will be starting on a fresh page in setting its IP regime; everyone, including Afro-IP, will be watching to see whether it will create one which is bespoke – without alienating minimum international standards -- or one which copies another word-for-word. 
Afro-IP hopes to keep readers up-to-date with IP developments in South Sudan. For Laws and Policies of South Sudan see here -- and here is a brochure for the IP Registry in South Sudan".
Kinglsey tweets as @IPinAfrica

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Santam's "back at ya" redeeming

Santam have dealt with the latest spoof ad by Nando's with an excellent retort of their own. They have already won over the public according to Twitter feedback. Nandos, in turn, have apparently graciously met Santam's delivery demand a day before the deadline and made a promise to do it every month for a year!

Everyone is a winner, except maybe the lawyers.

We like to think that this post on Afro-IP commenting on Santam's previous retort to a spoof ad played a part.

"Perhaps, with all the creative talent we have in this country, all those billable hours could have been spent on devising a tasteful retort? The South African public tends to respond well to that sort of thing – remember BMW’s brilliant “Beat the Bends” come back? (see here) ..." 

"..but one cannot help feel too, that Jeremy [Speres] has a point: what would you do if you were Santam or Ben for that matter?"

If so, it would not be the first time this blog has effected change and a timely reminder to those attending next month's INTA meeting to support the Africa session organised by Spoor & Fisher. The Africa session was put back on the program at the request of Afro-IP here.

Fewer Orphans in Sudan?

A few weeks ago, this Little Leo had the opportunity to attend a conference on orphan works sponsored by a local law school. It was a good conference in many ways and participants represented a diverse array of copyright perspectives.  As discussions about defining and solving the orphan works problem progressed, two themes took center stage: “here’s what Europe’s been doing,” “here’s what the US has been doing.” 

The solution-seekers should look a little broader in their quest for ideas. One place to start is the Sudanese Copyright Act.

There are lots of different aspects to what has been dubbed “the orphan works problem.” And there is not a consensus on exactly what fits into that basket and what’s left strewn on the table waiting for the next basket.  One of the situations that falls into some iterations of this basket is those works where the author is known and known to be deceased but the current rightsholder is unknown. The Sudanese Copyright Act has a provision that deals specifically with this issue.

Authors can dispose of their economic copyrights as they see fit via their will. This includes prohibiting publication or setting a future publication date for unpublished works.  However, “where the author dies intestate or leaves no heir the Minister may order that the work shall be in public domain.” (Art. 20(2).)

Wills provide a written record that is generally recorded at a probate office or other such registry. This makes tracking down the new owner a bit easier. Passing copyright ownership to others via testamentary disposition is not very unusual in copyright acts. However, having a means for works to enter the public domain when the author dies intestate is unusual. – At least this Little Leo hasn’t come across it before.

Intestate succession often results in the dividing of assets among many heirs. By allowing the work to enter the public domain instead of falling under multi-party ownership, the Sudanese Copyright Act prevents that work from being held in the unlicensable, unusable state of orphan works.*

When authors die without an heir, having their works enter the public domain actually aligns with how tangible property is generally treated. In fact, this exact treatment of copyrighted works was suggested at the orphan works conference by Lydia Loren who sees the public as the remainderman when it comes to intellectual property. Sudan’s copyright act may be a great place to start for exploring this further.

*Since a person can usually only have heirs if the person dies intestate (as opposed to beneficiaries of a will), the phrase “dies intestate or leaves no heir” is a bit confusing. I’ve chosen not to address this here since that would make the post too long.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

NAFDAC, trade marks and trade reps in Nigeria: some guidance

Under current regulations of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), product owners who want to export into Nigeria without being physically present can do so through a representative. Typically, the representative will be a local individual or organisation already trading in regulated food or drug products locally, as NAFDAC requires representatives to possess the facilities to effect a recall of products when necessary. NAFDAC will require additional documents to be presented by the representative prior to registration, including a Power of Attorney from the manufacturer and a certificate of trade mark registration from the Nigerian Trade Marks Registry. The seemingly innocuous trademark registration requirement has proven to be a thorny issue for many manufacturers who eventually decide to establish a greater physical presence in Nigeria.

A straightforward trade mark application will usually take between 12 and 24 months to complete in Nigeria. NAFDAC accommodates this difficulty by accepting the Notice of Acceptance issued by the Trade Marks Registry, usually issued (upon acceptance of an application) 3 to 5 weeks after the trade mark application is filed. There are usually no later complications if the manufacturer has already filed a trade mark application or already holds a registration for its trade mark in Nigeria.

It occurs frequently, however, that the representative undertakes the trade mark application, many times in its own name rather than the manufacturer’s. This is of little import to many manufacturers at the beginning of the manufacturer-representative relationship, as they may indeed have initially been approached by the representative or are tentatively testing the Nigerian market.

However, many such new products are received very well by the market, convincing manufacturers that it would be even more profitable to establish a local plant or a subsidiary to handle local distribution on a larger scale. Many representatives, feeling that they were instrumental to growing the product in the Nigerian market, feel aggrieved at being “jettisoned” by manufacturers and hold on to the business for as long as they can. One of the tactics they employ is to refuse to assign the trademark to the manufacturer, technically making any product subsequently imported by the manufacturer a counterfeit or a parallel import. It is clear therefore that it is essential to plan for the success of a product in the market at the very beginning of the manufacturer-representative relationship. The following solutions should be considered:
1. The term (length) of the distribution agreement between the parties should be as short as is commercially expedient. It is best for the manufacturer not to enter into an agreement that is too lengthy, to ensure that effective control is retained and a decision to personally operate in the market can be executed without excessive delays.  
2. While it is understandable that a manufacturer may not want to incur fees associated with trade mark registration in an unproven market, it is best that the manufacturer registers its trade mark in any country in which it intends to distribute its goods. Otherwise, the distribution agreement with the representative should compel the representative to register the trade mark in the manufacturer’s name or compel the representative to assign the trade mark to the manufacturer upon demand.

Source: "Trademark Issues in Food and Drug Registration and Distribution in Nigeria", Trenchard Partners Newsletter, 23 April 2012

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

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Kenya's controversial anti-counterfeiting law "too broad"

You can have
both: Michel Sidibé 
In "Kenyan High Court’s Overturning Of Anti-Counterfeit Law Hailed", 21 April 2012, Intellectual Property Watch reported that, last Friday, 20 April, the High Court of Kenya ruled that the country’s controversial Anti-Counterfeit Act, which was passed in 2008, was too broad and could interfere with the flow of legal generic medicines to patients. The court added that intellectual property rights should not be put before life and health.
 “A vast majority of people in Kenya rely on quality generic drugs for their daily survival. Through this important ruling, the High Court of Kenya has upheld a fundamental element of the right to health,” 
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said in a release, noting that it was possible to have both generic drugs and strong anti-counterfeit laws.

Giving judgment in the High Court, Judge Mumbi Ngugi described the Act as being vague and said that it could undermine access to affordable generic medicines since it failed to distinguish clearly between counterfeit and generic medicines.

For earlier Afro-IP posts in this legislation click here, here, here, here and here

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Morocco takes a closer look at IP and the electronic press

The Moroccan Ministry of Communication has recently organized a study day in Rabat on the electronic press in order to modernize the sector and to build a legal framework. According to Communication Minister Mustapha El Khalfi
""... the number of internet subscribers has reached 3.2 million, while the total number of those using the internet is at 16 million, and under that mode Morocco became an industry leader at the Arab, African and Mediterranean level.  Morocco is suffering in this field from a legal vacuum and the absence of clear public policy allowing this rising and promising sector to flourish,.  We have a paradox--on the one hand there is digital progress, and on the other there are political, legal and managerial shortcomings. The government is looking to launch a new era for this field on the basis of freedom and responsibility and is convinced of the fact that this sector, in which young people are active, is an opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of Morocco in this aspect". 
The President of the Moroccan Association for Electronic Journalism, Adil Klei, alluded specifically to IP in his observation that electronic media regulation has three key areas: intellectual property and journalistic ethics, specialized training for electronic journalism and the maintenance of a professional environment through legal institutions.

Source: Talal Abu-Ghazaleh March News, released 18 April 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.44: Somalia

The 44th stop on Afro-IP's tour of official African intellectual property websites takes Kingsley Egbuonu to war-torn Somalia, where the prospect of peace and ensuing stability is something for which we all fervently hope and pray.
Overview

The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Lusaka Agreement on the Creation of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) are two significant intellectual property treaties currently ratified by Somalia. The latter grants it membership.

Copyright Office

• The Copyright Office (Ministry of Culture and Higher Education) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Somalia. 
• The office has no website.

Industrial Property Office

• The Patents and Trade Marks Office (Ministry of Industry) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in Somalia. 
• This office has no website.

Social Media Presence

None

Intellectual Property update in Somalia

None

Conclusion

Afro-IP often comes across misinformation in respect of the state of intellectual property system in certain countries in Africa. The current state of affairs is that Somalia is neither a member of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) , nor a party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Like country no:43 (Sierra Leone), Somalia has face major problems in consequence of its civil war, and the same sense of measure and caution expressed for that country applies here too.

Afro-IP can only wish the Transitional Federal Government all the best in ensuring political stability in Somalia. With stability, Somalia can move on again to play its part in the international community – including membership of the WTO and ratifying related treaties which encourage foreign direct investment and IP.

Despite the constant sad headlines, there is some positive news of progress in Somalia reported here by the BBC.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

Friday, 13 April 2012

Social Entrepreneurs - the importance of IP

Making money is essential and can also be fun. However, it is rarely satisfying simply for the sake of it. Making a difference, creating social change for the better is extremely rewarding and fun, but not essential to live - one has to eat or support a family. One of the best aspects of working in Africa is that there is an abundance of opportunity to do both; make a difference and make money. Indeed firms like Discovery are so good at it as to be revolutionary. This article explains the rise of the social entrepreneur and how and why they are being "leveraged" to do business in Africa.

Structuring IP, specifically its ownership and use, in the types of business relationships envisaged by the article is not only extremely important but also requires creative thought that extends beyond typical licensing models for trade marks, copyright, patents and know-how. From an awareness of how to protect a trade mark from the damaging effects of genericism (so common to new technologies) to using and protecting IP in open source innovation environments, an understanding of IP and how it can help is not only crucial to making the model work, but a vital part of the ensuring that social change is permanent, encouraged and rewarding, in its wider sense, for both stakeholders. The investor's role in ensuring that a fair deal is reached when "leveraging" the entrepreneur will assist in sustaining the model.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Confused, stoned or deranged?

Thanks to Distinctive IP for this link:
In an article in the 24 March 2012 issue of The Economist headed ‘Trademark Bullying’, the publication tells of the attempts of a US chicken chain called Chick-fil-A – the owner of 1600 outlets and the trade mark Eat Mor Chickin - to stop an artist from selling t-shirts bearing the term ‘Eat More Kale’. Dealing with the claim that that there will be consumer confusion, The Economist says: ‘One entity sells food, the other clothing; only the profoundly stoned or deranged would try to eat a t-shirt or wear a chicken sandwich.’

Monday, 9 April 2012

Director General of ARIPO up for grabs


ARIPO are inviting candidates to submit applications for the post Director General of the organisation commencing January 2013 and currently held by Gift Sibanda. Details of duties, eligibility and compensation are set on on the home page of the ARIPO site here. Closing date for applications is 31 May 2012.

Meantime, over on the AFRO-IP Linkedin Group, Italian patent attorney Sara Morabito wants to know "does anybody know if there is a database for the ARIPO designs? and if it is open to public and free of charge?"

Perhaps a reader (or the successful candidate) could assist her.

IPKenya has constructed a neat timeline of previous DG's and makes a case for a Kenyan successor.

A to Z of African official IP websites no.43: Sierra Leone

The 43rd destination of Afro-IP's intrepid web-explorer Kingsley Egbuonu around official African IP websites takes him to Sierra Leone. Sadly, he has no good news to report at this stage from a country which, in recent years, has had much to contend with. This is what he writes:
"Overview

Sierra Leone is a Contracting Party to a number of treaties on intellectual property (IP) -- which do not include the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.  Sierra Leone  is also a member of ARIPO.

Copyright Office

• The Sierra Leone Intellectual Property Organisation (SLIPO) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Sierra Leone. 
• The office has no website.

Industrial Property Office

• The Administrator and Registrar-General's Department is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in Sierra Leone. 
• This office has no website.

Social Media Presence

None

Intellectual Property update in Sierra Leone

None

Conclusion

The civil war in Sierra Leone ended not too long ago.  It is therefore appropriate that this is taken into consideration in appraisal.

Afro-IP also discovered that, as in the case of the Seychelles, UK IP rights holders can extend their rights to Sierra Leone.

It is hoped that stability in Sierra Leone will attract more investment in its key sectors (here and here) and prosperity, which could then help towards IP sensitisation.

Interested in reading a report on IP technical assistance in Sierra Leone? see here".
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

RSA: landmark pharma judgement - trade marks

Zemax hypertension drug
The South African Supreme Court of Appeal has handed down an important judgement for pharma trade marks. The case of Adcock Ingram v Cipla Medpro reconsidered the notion that pharmaceuticals sold on prescription are less likely to be confused because they are dispensed by trained professionals in regulated circumstances. In doing so the Court questioned the relevance of findings in a 1983 leading case, also involving Adcock, in contemporary society.

The marks at issue are Adock's ZETOMAX (earlier mark) and Cipla's ZEMAX. The goods in question are those covered by their respective registrations in class 5 of the Nice Classification (pharmaceuticals) which are, in part, identical to each other. The Court was called on to decide whether ZEMAX was wrongly remaining on the register because it offended Section 10(14) of the Trade Marks Act (ie so similar to an earlier existing registration ie ZETOMAX that confusion is likely).* The earlier decision had held that there was no likelihood of confusion primarily because they are sold by trained professionals; pharmacists and medical practitioners on prescription, following findings in the 1983 case.

The appeal court first had to correct the earlier court on the proper test to be applied. The earlier court had erred in applying a test that was confined to considering goods in respect of which the marks were used (as opposed to registered) under Section 10(14). The Court had therefore failed to appreciate that not all class 5 goods were sold on prescription. A basic mistake, it must be said.
Once the test had been cleared up by Judge Malan (in the process approving Sabel V Puma's global appreciation test and the oft quoted South Africa judgements of Plascon Evans and Cowbell) he went about analysing whether confusion was likely in circumstances where the notional consumer in a specialist market for prescription drugs was argued to be less likely to be confused - Cipla had all but conceded that a likelihood of confusion could occur for all other goods.

The Court gave short shrift to arguments by Cipla that both the Trade Mark Registry and the Medical Control Council had approved the name ZEMAX, accepting though the Trade Mark Registry's decision held some weight. The Court is "at large to exercise its own discretion"

Both ZEMAX and ZETOMAX are Schedule 3 drugs that, generally, can only be prescribed by a medical practitioner and dispensed with by a pharmacist. Accepting that conditions for the sale of prescription drugs significantly reduce the likelihood of confusion stated in the earlier Adcock case the judge then held that the remark in the same case that it is the"doctor's responsibility as to what a patient should have, and his alone, has a sense of unreality in modern circumstances [Afro Leo's emphasis] where patients are expected to play an active role in relation to their own health. It reduced the patient to a passive bystander.." 

Further, that:

Such an approach is hardly reconcilable with s 8 of the National Health Act 61 of 2003 which gives the patient the right to participate ‘in any decision affecting his or her personal health and treatment’. Patients often discuss their medication among themselves and with their doctors. They exchange information on which product they find most efficacious. This information may then be discussed with their doctors or pharmacists when the issue of substituting a medicine for a generic or the more expensive innovator product is raised. Often they provide the names of their medicines, particularly chronic medication, to the medical practitioners treating them. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages with them. They consider different options. In a case of emergency a Schedule 3 medicine may be sold, for use during a period not exceeding 30 days in accordance with the original prescription, if the pharmacist is ‘satisfied that an authorised prescriber initiated the therapy’13 – clearly on information provided by the patient. Whatever the position may have been in 1983, the patient is no longer a passive bystander when treated and receiving prescribed medication.

[25] The provisions of s 22F of the Medicines and Related Substances Act widen the scope of the enquiry to be made. Section 22F deals with generic substitution or interchangeable multi-source medicines, and, it was submitted, envisages a situation where the patient forms part of the decision-making process thereby increasing the likelihood of deception or confusion. [see explanation in para 27]
Then, after analysing a similar position in Canada, the judge held that:

The question whether ZEMAX is ‘likely to deceive or cause confusion’ as s 10(14) requires must be answered with reference, not to the specialised market of prescription medication only, but with reference to the patient as well. The patient is the ultimate consumer whose wishes may not be disregarded and who has a right to participate in any decision concerning his health and treatment. It may well be that there is little likelihood of the medical practitioner or pharmacist being deceived or confused but the enquiry does not end there.

Having dealt with the notional consumer the marks ZETOMAX and ZEMAX were compared and held to be confusingly similar. For an explanation see paras 31-32. 

Afro Leo agrees with this judgement:
  • The reality is that more and more people do check and question their diagnosis and prescription on the Internet for instance - in fact, a common complaint from doctors.
  • Doctors too often provide (or should) options to their patients eg cancer treatments may have different side effects requiring the patient to become more involved in the decision making process even if they do not want to.
  • There are reports of an increase in abuse of prescribed drugs by pharmacists meaning that scheduled drugs are sold without a prescription (see scandal here, for instance) requiring caution.
  • The risk of the consequences of confusion is heightened by the increasing dangers and prevalence of counterfeit drugs in Africa (see numerous reports on this blog)
  • Further, the possibility of including the "initial interest confusion" doctrine into the infringement tests may well mean that it is irrelevant that the confused patient is then corrected by say, a pharmacist.
* Although S10(12) based on actual use of the ZETOMAX trade mark was pleaded, the case centred on S10(14)

Algeria: coloured scans are fine, so long as there's a follow-up

Afro Leo has just learned that the Algerian Trade Mark Office (INAP) has recently started to ask for a coloured scanned copy of the Power of Attorney, together with the application, in order for it to be received. The original must follow within three months, according to the previous practice.

Source: NJQ & Associates - March 2012 Newsletter

Monday, 2 April 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.42: Seychelles

Number 42 in the transcontinental trek around Africa's official IP websites, conducted on behalf of Afro-IP by the assiduous Kingsley Egbuonu, is the Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago somewhere to the north-east of Madagascar. This is what Kingsley found:
Overview

Seychelles is a Contracting Party to a number of treaties on intellectual property, including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. However, it is not a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Copyright Office

• The Cultural Property and Copyright Unit / Seychelles Authors and Composers Society (SACS) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Seychelles. 
• The office has no website.

Industrial Property Office

• The Registration Division (Department of Legal Affairs) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in Seychelles. 
• This office has no website.

Social Media Presence

None.

Intellectual Property update in Seychelles

• In 2010, it was reported that Seychelles was planning to review its IP legislation and, in the same year, it also signed an IP development plan and cooperation agreements with WIPO.

Conclusion

Seychelles maintains two good websites --one for general information and the other for the various public offices – but unfortunately Afro-IP did not find any dedicated to its IP office. Nevertheless, Afro-IP can see that Seychelles is committed and eager to embrace IP.

Afro-IP also notes with interest -- see last week’s post on UK technical assistance abroad -- that UK IP rights holders can extend their rights to Seychelles.

We look forward to Seychelles accession to the WTO and even better, a website for its IP office before the historic event.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

Africa Update: Read all about it!

So, it's Monday and you were wondering if you should be registering your IP in South Sudan, you had heard that there was an oil find in Namibia and then realised that your company needed to be there, and it dawned on you that it was already a quarter of the way through 2012 and you had not even bothered to consider whether the IP Registries in Libya and Egypt were functional again - shame on you!

Afro Leo found himself browsing through a copy of Adams & Adams' Africa Update over his morning tea and was pretty impressed; not only are there answers to those Monday tribulations but also brief updates on developments in 30 African countries, ARIPO and OAPI - plus a few handsome pics of Registrars and dignatories - all in colour.

Check it out yourself over here.