Former WIPO Deputy Director General Sworn in as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister

For many in the African intellectual property (IP) space, the name Geoffrey Onyeama is all too familiar. Until last year, Onyeama was Deputy Director General at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) responsible for the Development Sector and was Africa’s candidate for the post of WIPO Director General (DG), which he lost to the incumbent DG, Dr. Francis Gurry.

Following the news of Onyeama’s cabinet nomination by newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the former WIPO DDG underwent screening at the Senate, as seen in the video clip above.

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CIPIT Proposes Kenya Association of Intellectual Property Professionals (KAIPP)

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The Strathmore Law School Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law a.k.a CIPIT has just announced that there will be a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss and agree on the proposed creation of an Intellectual Property (IP) association for Practitioners in Kenya, tentatively christened it the Kenya Association of Intellectual Property Practitioners or KAIPP.

This meeting will take place during the next IPCheckin Meet-up scheduled for 8th June, 2013 at Strathmore Law School from 11:00am.

In preparation for this meeting, CIPIT has prepared a draft constitution for KAIPP available here.

This on-going push for a fully fledged IP association in Kenya comes in the wake of encouraging news from Nigeria. Afro-IP reports that the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria (IPLAN) has gone to court to challenge a move by the Nigerian Registry of Trademarks, Patents and Designs to only accept electronic applications for registration of trade marks, patents and designs filed by accredited agents. IPLAN contends that this move unlawfully creates compulsory accreditation system for law firms, stakeholders and potential registrants as well as illegally purports to increase or prescribe additional fees. We will be keenly following this case as it develops.

Meanwhile, back home, this blogger is fully in support of an IP Association in Kenya and for Kenyans.

Looking forward to seeing you at on the 8th of June 2013 at 11:00am. Bring a friend or three.