[Ip-health] Update on the proposed Pan African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO) and related petition

ahmed abdel 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 
worth highlighting:

 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 
of the
 African Union(AU)

 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:

Dick Kawooya
Ahmed Abdel Latif

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