The ‘Africa IP Forum’: Doomed to Fail?

It’s now official: the proposed Africa IP Forum planned to take place in Cape Town, South Africa 3-5 April 2012 has been postponed. The US Commerce Department, on it’s website, made the announcement as follows:

“The African Intellectual Property Forum, originally slated for April 3-5, 2012 in Cape Town, will be rescheduled. Organizers are committed to ensuring that all stakeholders – in government, private business, the arts and the development community – are represented and engaged in the conference organization and agenda.”

Certainly we all saw this coming, especially after the huge uproar by NGOs and other interested parties worldwide as witnessed here.

In a poll conducted by afroIP between 15th – 22nd February 2012, respondents were asked: “is the africa ip summit short a development dimension?” and the majority number responded that the agenda of the Africa IP Forum needs to be greatly improved.

Today’s article on Techdirt minces no words in it’s condemnation of the proposed forum:

“An absolutely ridiculous “Africa IP Forum” that was being organized by WIPO and the US Department of Commerce, where it appeared the entire event was around forcing extreme IP enforcement on Africa, despite plenty of evidence that developing nations, such as most of those in Africa, are hurt by such enforcement. The whole schedule was one-sided with speakers who mainly supported extreme enforcement over looking for the most reasonable overall solutions for different economies.”

Continue reading

Latest Edition of Kenya Copyright Newsletter Now Available Online.

True to the Kenya Copyright Board’s promise, it’s latest quarterly publication “Copyright News” is finally out and has been dedicated to addressing growing concerns about protection of traditional knowledge, cultural expressions and genetic resources in Kenya.

The newsletter is on KeCoBo’s website and is available for viewing and downloading here.

IPKenya is particularly pleased to see his contributions on the subject of Traditional Knowledge in an earlier post “Towards Legislation on Traditional Knowledge in Kenya” were incorporated verbatim into one of the newsletter’s articles titled: “Towards Legal Protection of Traditional Knowledge in Kenya”. However, a credit as co-author of the article would have been nice.