News from the Manor Vol 17

  1. WIPO to Open External Offices in Africa: Following the submission of hosting proposals by African Member States in respect of hosting WIPO external offices, voting was held in Geneva on August 4, 2016 and Algeria and Nigerian were chosen to host WIPO external offices for North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa respectively. Only six African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Kenya and Nigeria) filed their hosting applications before the deadlines set by the United Nations. More on that here and here. The hosting proposals can also be read here.
  2. Ghana IP Registry Closed Due to Strike Action: Following the nationwide strike action embarked on by the Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOSSAG) on July 27, 2016, of which the Ghana Intellectual Property Registry staff are members, the  Ghana IP Registry remains closed. The strike is due to government’s failure to pay CLOSSAG members interim premium (a monetary incentive paid to attract and retain critical skills in short supply). More on that here and here.
  3. Ed Sheeran is being sued by the family of a co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” who believe that Ed Sheeran’s hit, “Thinking Out Loud” is based on it. More on that here.
  4. WIPO to release Global Innovation Index 2016: The results of the Global Innovation Index 2016 will be released on August 15, 2016 at a press conference in the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 will focus on global innovation networks, ranking the innovation performance of 128 countries and economies around the world, based on 82 indicators. Follow the press conference live and join the conversation using #GII2016.

News from the Manor Vol 16

  1. Commitment on Investment in Access to Essential Medicines Signed at UNCTAD14: On July 21, 2016, UNAIDS and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the African Union (AU), and the Kenyan and South African governments signed a commitment at the 14th session of UNCTAD to facilitate investment in Africa’s pharmaceutical industry in order to boost the sector’s production and make available essential medicines for millions of needy people. Nairobi StatementThe commitment named Nairobi Statement on Investment in Access to Medicines aims at spurring, particularly, the manufacture of antiretroviral medicines in the continent worst affected by HIV and AIDS. The commitment is in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health, which emphasises access to essential medicines for all (No 3), innovation and domestic technology development (No 9) and  on international cooperation and policy coherence (No 17).
  2. SAP/SEP Suffers a Huge Blow: A joint Australia-New Zealand proposal for a unified patent application and examination process appears to have been mooted following its rejection by the New Zealand Parliament’s Commerce Committee on the basis that the purported benefits of the mechanisms either do not exist, or are outweighed by the costs. The proposed single application process (SAP), and single examination process (SEP), was simple – to allow applicants wanting to obtain patents in both Australia and New Zealand to file one common application which would be subject to search and examination by an examiner either at IP Australia or at the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ).  More on that here.
  3. Marrakesh Treaty to enter into force soon: Canada recently became the key 20th nation to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which will bring the Treaty into force by September 30, 2016. Stevie Wonder, a longtime supporter of the Treaty has this to say.

Lazy…not so lazy Saturday Reads

  1. It would appear that Singaporean courts permit the use of ‘own name’ defense by corporations in trademark infringement suits.
  2. Kenya’s Permanent Presidential Music Commission (PPMC) has released a draft of its proposed National Music Bill and is calling for comments.IP Kenya has some preliminary comments.
  3. IP texts from Africa  are far and in between. As such, new publication are always welcome. However, IP Kenya does not seem impressed by a new book – Intellectual Property Law in East Africa by Prof. Bakibinga and Dr. Kakungulu. What say you?
  4. What do you know about copyright and maps?
  5. What happens when Patentology meets the Productivity Commission on the Patenting of Computer-Implemented Inventions in Australia?
  6. The latest edition of WIPO Magazine.

News from the Manor Vol 12

  1. UPOV Convention enters into force in Kenya: On May 11 2016, the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention) of December 2, 1961, as revised on March 19, 1991 entered into force in Kenya. Kenya, which is already one of the 74 members of UPOV, is the 56th member to become bound by the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention.The purpose of UPOV is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society.More on that here and here.
  2. India’s Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2016 takes effect:  The Patent (Amendment) rules, 2016 making amendments to the Patents Rules, 2003 (Principal Rules) of the Patents Act, 1970 have taken effect from May 16, 2016. More on that here and here.