Update: Phase 1 of South Africa’s IP Policy

On 3 November 2020, the Deputy Director General at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Xavier Carim (”the DDG”), presented a briefing in parliament on the Intellectual Property Policy (Phase 1), (“the IP Policy”). The IP Policy, which focuses on IP and public health as well as international IP cooperation, was approved by Cabinet in May 2018. Our article regarding the IP Policy may be seen here.

Below is a brief update on the progression of certain legislation as presented by the DDG.

Draft Patent Amendment Bill and Draft Designs Amendment Bill

A Draft Patents Amendment Bill has been drawn up as well as a Draft Designs Amendment Bill. Both these drafts will be submitted to cabinet for approval for tabling in parliament and public comment. There was no indication of timeframes when this was expected to take place.

Copyright Amendment Bill

However, the DDG indicated that the Copyright Amendment Bill and the legislation addressing Indigenous Knowledge were at advanced stages of development. He advised that these areas need to be subjected to monitoring and evaluation to ensure alignment with the broader national IP Policy objectives.

Madrid Protocol

As to the Madrid Protocol, the DDG pointed out that work on accession to the Madrid Protocol is at an advanced stage but no further details were provided as to when this will occur.

We aim to keep a watchful eye on further updates and developments on the IP Policy. Should you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Maureen Makoko
Associate | Trade mark Attorney
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