New Director General Appointed at ARIPO

The Forty Fourth Session of the Administrative Council of ARIPO, was recently held. The Secretariat, diplomats and delegates from Zimbabwe gathered at ARIPO’s premises, while all other member states, including representatives from Adams & Adams participated virtually from their home countries.

At the administrative council meeting held virtually earlier this year in October 2020, the special circumstances under which this session will take place was discussed and it was resolved that the Session of the Administrative Council will only focus on crucial issues relevant to the running of ARIPO.  Should we not mention that another special session will sit in 2021 to deal with all other traditional or usual  items including amendments to the protocol- Mabs  I think we must ask Kabare about this. If the protocols will be amended mid year, we assume that they will not have a retrospective effect and will apply to applications filed after the special session?

Milestones of the year were highlighted during the Session by the Director General, Mr Fernando dos Santos, including the recent accession of Mauritius to ARIPO. Mauritius became the 20th full member of ARIPO on 25 September 2020, by acceding to the Lusaka Agreement. The Council is optimistic that Mauritius will soon also join other Protocols.

The Session marked the end of Mr Fernando dos Santos’s tenure as Director General of ARIPO. Mr Dos Santos has made an invaluable contribution during his time as DG, including establishing a Working Group in which IP practitioners participate annually to debate possible amendments to the Protocols to improve the ARIPO procedures. The partners of Adams & Adams would like to thank Mr Dos Santos for the enormous contribution that he has made to promote ARIPO to the IP community worldwide!

A new Director General was elected during the Session. Mr. Bemanya Twebaze, the former Registrar General of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, has been appointed as Director General of ARIPO for the period of 2021 to 2024.  Mr Bemanya has extensive experience in legal practice and has been practising for more than 20 years, in the field of commercial law, business registration, insolvency and intellectual property. Mr Bemanya holds an Executive MBA from ESAMI, an honours degree in law from Makerere University Kampala, a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre Kampala and several certificates in Legal issues, Administration and Management from both Ugandan and international training institutions. Mr Bemanya also completed 3 Harvard Kennedy School Executive Educational Programs and was awarded an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership, by Harvard University in 2017.

Please join us in congratulating Mr. Bemanya on his new appointment as Director General of ARIPO.

Mariëtte du Plessis
Partner | Trade Mark Attorney
Lize-Mari van Dyk
Senior Associate | Trade Mark Attorney
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