Alarm Over Monsanto-Backed Push To Acquire African Seed Company

Maize seeds - Flickr - Ian Hayhurst

An African civil society group has voiced concerns about the takeover by giant multinational seed companies of home-grown African seed companies, the latest of which involves Africa’s SeedCo.

Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.

Global Value Chains In Africa: Set Of Preconditions Needed To Be Profitable, Panel Says

Susan Bingi address WTO Public Forum

At the World Trade Organization Public Forum last week, a panel explored opportunities for Africa in global and regional value chains. A certain level of development needs to be achieved so that countries can benefit from global value chains, speakers said.

Uganda Government Moves Towards Top-Level Domain Management

Uganda Internet Luwana

The use of internet continues to grow rapidly in Uganda. The Uganda Communications Commission’s quarterly report reveals that the country had over eight million internet users by the end of first quarter of 2014.

Now, the government of Uganda is involved in a struggle over who should have the custodial rights to manage the .ug domain, the country’s Country Code Top-Level Domain, (ccTLD), which is currently run by a third party.

Interview With KIPO Commissioner Kim Young-min

KIPO- KIM Young-min

South Korea is now considered one of the most influential countries in the IP field. Intellectual Property Watch exchanged a set of questions for Kim Young-min, commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) since 2013, speaking about KIPO’s policies for increasing international cooperation, reducing first action pendency, and preventing “bad faith” trademark applicants in Korea from making unfair profits.

African Declaration On Internet Rights And Freedoms

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Infojustice.org writes: Last week, 23 civil society groups released the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms at the Internet Governance Forum, infojustice.org reports. The declaration is organized around twelve key principles, including Freedom of Expression and the Right to Information and Open Data.

Guest Post: Nine Mandatory Licences Allow Greater Access To Medicines In Ecuador

Health 1

What is a mandatory licence? Mandatory licenses are a legal remedy within the intellectual property flexibilities provided by the World Trade Organization allowing a government to grant permission to third parties to produce a patented product or use a patented process without the consent of the patentee, in order to address a priority status for the country.

India’s IP Policy On Stage As Modi Heads To US

Pills-Flickr-Taki-Steve

Will India’s new government bring in radical changes in the country’s intellectual property rights regime? That question has generated enormous buzz but no definitive answer ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power with a decisive mandate in May this year.

[Update: the Indian government has announced that it has begun a process for a comprehensive IPR policy over the next six months, including a government think tank. See report here. The government website is here.]

Compulsory Licences Needed For Affordable Hepatitis C Innovative Drug Regimens

Compulsory licences should be issued to roll out generic versions of innovative HCV drugs. Only generic competition can push down the extortionate prices of these lifesaving medicines, while placing equitable access and public interest before monopolistic pharma companies’ business strategies, Daniele Dionisio argues.

Collective Rights Management Takes Root In Uganda

With an increase in the number of entrepreneur artisans in Uganda, a need to protect and benefit from the artisan works has emerged in the country. There is a growing trend in rights management, especially in the fields of musical works, film and art.