2nd Edition

Intellectual Property Law in Africa Harmonising Administration and Policy

By Caroline B. Ncube Copyright 2023
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    Examining the harmonisation of Intellectual Property policy, law and administration in Africa, this book evaluates the effectiveness of efforts to establish continental Intellectual Property institutions and frameworks. It also considers sub-regional initiatives led by the regional economic communities and the regional Intellectual Property organisations, focusing on relevant protocols and agreements that address Intellectual Property as well as the implementing institutions. The book assesses the progress of such initiatives with particular reference to the current socio-economic status of African states. It argues that that harmonisation initiatives need to be crafted in a way that is supportive of the developmental goals of African states and advocates for due consideration of individual states’ unique conditions and aspirations. This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy makers with an interest in Intellectual Property law and its harmonisation in Africa.

    1. Intellectual Property and the Public Interest in Africa

    1.1 The Intellectual Property Landscape in Africa

    1.2 Overview and History of National IP laws

    1.3 IP and the public interest

    1.3.1 A global public interest?

    1.3.2 A continental, sub-regional and national public interest?

    1.4 African states’ diversity and the need for flexible and nuanced IP systems

    1.4.1 African states’ contribution to the articulation and formulation of the Development Agenda at WIPO

    1.4.2 The Dakar Declaration on IP for Africa

    1.4.3 TRIPS implementation by African states: a straight-jacket or nuancing tool?

    1.4.4 IP policy focus area: TRIPS Flexibilities Transition periods Definition of invention & other patent grant related flexibilities Parallel imports Compulsory licenses & government use Exceptions

    1.4.5 Ongoing work on nuancing African IP systems

    1.5 Book overview

    Reference List

    2. National IP Policy Frameworks in Africa

    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 Definitions

    2.3 The importance of IP policies in Africa

    2.4 Factors affecting IP policy design

    2.4.1 Public engagement and interest representation

    2.4.2 Governmental capacity and co-ordination

    2.4.3 Global influences

    2.4.4 Technical Assistance Improvement of National, Sub-Regional and Regional IP Institutional and User Capacity WIPO Framework for Developing National IP Strategies for Innovation The Dakar Declaration on IP for Africa

    2.5 State profiles: National IP Policies

    2.5.1 States with national IP policies



    The Gambia








    South Africa




    2.5.2 States with IPDPs




    Sao Tome and Principe



    2.5.3 States with national IP policies under formulation

    2.5.4 Evaluation of National IP Policies and IPDPs

    2.6 Conclusion

    Reference List

    3. Regional Economic Communities, trade and IP

    3.1 Introduction

    3.2 Regionalism

    3.2.1 Regional co-operation

    3.2.2 Regional integration

    3.2.3 Market Integration

    3.2.4 Development integration

    3.2.5 Neo-functional integration

    3.3 The AU and the AEC

    3.4 The relationship between community laws and national laws

    3.5 COMESA

    3.5.1 IP Regulatory Framework

    3.5.2 IP Policy

    3.6 EAC

    3.6.1 IP Regulatory Framework

    3.6.2 IP Policy

    3.7 ECOWAS

    3.7.1 IP Regulatory Framework

    3.7.2 IP Policy

    3.8 SADC

    3.8.1 Regulatory Instruments

    3.8.2 IP Framework and Guidelines

    3.9 TFTA

    3.10 Conclusion

    Reference List

    4: Sub-regional IP organisations

    4.1 Introduction

    4.2 ARIPO

    4.2.1 Organs

    Council of Ministers

    Administrative Council


    Board of Appeal


    4.2.2 Regulatory Instruments

    The Harare Protocol

    Banjul Protocol on Marks

    Arusha Protocol

    Kampala Protocol

    4.3 OAPI

    4.3.1 Organs

    Administrative Council

    High Commission of Appeal

    The Office of the Director General

    4.3.2 Regulatory Instruments

    (a) Substantive requirements

    Annex II: Utility Models

    Annex III: Trade marks and service marks

    Annex IV: Industrial Designs

    Annex X: New Varieties of Plant.

    4.5 Conclusion

    Reference List

    5. Key considerations in the development of a continental IP system

    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 IP Cooperation

    5.2.1 ASEAN

    5.2.2 APEC

    5.2.3 BRICS

    5.3 Harmonisation

    5.3.1 Methods of harmonisation

    5.3.2 Advantages of harmonisation

    5.3.3 Disadvantages of harmonisation

    5.3.4 Lessons from existing harmonisation efforts EU MERCUSOR

    Unification in OHADA



    6. Continental IP co-operation: PAIPO

    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Historical overview of the AU’s efforts to establish PAIPO

    6.2.1 Entry into force

    6.3 How PAIPO will function

    6.3.1 The legal nature of PAIPO

    6.3.2 Objectives, principles and functions

    6.3.3 Organs of PAIPO The Conference of State Parties The Council of Ministers The Director General and Secretariat The Board of Appeal

    6.3.4 Organisational issues (PAIPO, OAPI and ARIPO) Overlapping mandates Relationship between PAIPO, ARIPO & OAPI

    6.4 Policy imperatives – the PAIPO statute, development and Human Rights

    6.5 Conclusion

    7. Intellectual Property in the African Continental Free Trade Area

    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Developmental underpinnings of the AfCFTA

    7.3 AfCFTA Institutions

    7.4 IP in the AfCFTA

    7.5 Negotiation and Adoption of the Protocol on IPRs

    7.6 Structure, Scope and Content of the Protocol on IPRs

    7.6.1 Preamble

    7.6.2 Part I: definition, objectives and scope

    7.6.3 Part II: principles

    7.6.4 Part III: Standards on IPRs

    7.6.5 Part IV - VII cooperation on, enforcement, institutional arrangements and final provisions

    7.7 Evaluation and Conclusion



    8. Harmony or Discord? Lessons for the future African continental IP system

    8.1 The status quo

    8.2 pursuing the public interest

    8.3 Continental Instruments and Institutions


    Caroline B. Ncube is a Professor in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and holds a Research Chair in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development, under the South African Research Chairs Initiative, which is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation.