[Ip-health] Update on the proposed Pan African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO) and related petition
abdelatif at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 5 10:50:44 PST 2012
Dear IP-health readers,
its launch on October 18th, close to 350 individuals and organizations
have signed the petition "A new course
for the Pan African Intellectual Property Organization is urgently
needed." As we come close to the Nov 10th deadline, we encourage you to
remind colleagues and friends to make their voices heard on this
important issue which has potentially significant implications
not only for intellectual property protection in Africa but for the
future of the entire international intellectual property system.
There is also growing evidence of concerns about the current draft
statute of PAIPO as reflected in two recent blogs by African IP experts
Sarah Moyo an IP Attorney from Zimbabwe has made a
compelling argument for strengthening existing IP infrastructure
rather than creating a new bureaucracy. She also rightfully points out that the
final draft Statute of PAIPO does not provide for ratification or
accession by African countries, which is usually required
when countries establish any new intergovernmental organization.
According to Article 20 of the
draft Statute, the Statute establishing PAIPO will automatically come
into force on the day of endorsement by the Assembly and Head of States
Caroline Ncube Senior Lecturer Department of Commercial Law
University of Cape Town
highlighted some of the issues mentioned in the petition, notably
the contradictions between the PAIPO statute and various documents or
international agreements where African countries and the AU have
strongly supported balanced intellectual property regimes
that address public policy and development objectives.
In addition, Techdirt has posted a
story expressing concerns about the narrow view of intellectual
property advanced by the current statute of PAIPO and its possible
detrimental effects on tech hubs emerging across the African continent.
the date of the African ministerial meeting for considering the draft
statute of PAIPO is fast approaching (12-16 November), there are
even more reason why this petition is important as a unified voice that
calls for deferring the consideration of PAIPO's draft statute and the
holding of a broad and inclusive consultation process over the nature,
functions and scope of the proposed organization.
Please, take the time to send out reminders to your networks before the
deadline so that the African Union becomes receptive to the concerns
expressed on this important issue.
The petition is available for signature at:
Ahmed Abdel Latif
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