January 9, 2014 — For brand owners, creative professionals, researchers and innovators, the African continent is an exciting yet challenging jurisdiction. In recent times, a common thread running through news reports and public discourse on IP issues, indicates that there is better appreciation of the need to protect and enforce intellectual property rights.
We begin this year by looking at a few websites and blogs that provide great information and are useful resources for IP in Africa. The sites are listed in no particular order and their coverage and description only represent the opinions of NLIPW editors and staff.
Site URL: http://afro-ip.blogspot.com/
Looking for in-depth analysis of IP policies on the African Continent? Then Afro-IP is a great blog for you!
Afro-IP provides information and comments on IP laws and policies, law firm mergers, coverage of IP conferences, and business deals across Africa. This blog, which is one of the oldest and most diverse source of IP in Africa is also great for keeping up with the latest IP news.
Between June 2011 and July 2013, Afro-IP reviewed the online presence of the intellectual property offices in 54 countries on the African Continent (results from the 2012/2013 review are available here). Currently, this blog is reviewing IP policies from different countries across Africa with a view to determining countries that have IP policies in place and has already looked at Algeria, Angola, Benin, Bostwana, Cameroon and Comoras.
Site URL: http://ipkenya.wordpress.com/
Launched in 2011, IP Kenya is a great resource for staying up-to-date on intellectual property rights in Kenya and also IP judicial decisions around Africa.
Written from the point of view of Victor B. Nzomo (a Kenyan lawyer), IP Kenya covers a range of topics including case analysis, performers rights, collective rights management, geographical indications, industrial designs, information technology, IP policies and enforcement, copyright issues, plant breeders’ rights, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions, and much more.
While majority of the articles on IP Kenya offer a uniquely Kenyan perspective to intellectual property rights, this blog often discusses the situation in other jurisdictions across Africa to allow for comparative analysis.
Site URL: http://africamusiclaw.com/
Africa Music Law (AML) allows you step out from the confines of traditional intellectual property into the world of entertainment law and legal drama in Nigeria.
AML keeps you up-to-date with the happenings in the entertainment industry in Nigeria and with a glint of humor, AML allows you appreciate some of the absurd legal situations in which artists, Nollywood actors and producers often find themselves in.
Founded by Uduak Oduok, co-founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. and a practicing fashion and entertainment lawyer in California, AML covers everything from music law and business to movie and music industry news.
Site URL: http://bricwallblog.wordpress.com/
Since its launch in April 2013, BRIC Wall has published series articles that focus on IP in the international context.
Written from the point of view of Lisa Mueller, a partner in Michael Best’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, BRIC Wall publishes at least four articles each month.
Topics covered on this blog include compulsory licensing in India, patent protection in Nigeria, Russia’s implementation of WTO Agreement and much more. BRIC Wall is currently examining patent infringement decisions in Kenya.
Site URL: http://www.mondaq.com/
Mondaq is a comprehensive site for getting up-to-date articles and videos on intellectual property from professionals in the field.
While covering Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, Mondaq lives up to its slogan of “Connecting Knowledge and People” by providing a platform for sharing diverse perspectives on intellectual property issues around the globe.
In 2013, some of the topics from the African continent covered on Mondaq were anti-counterfeiting, case reviews, IP policies in Africa, patent examination and domain names.
Site URL: http://www.managingip.com
Managing IP covers issues relating to intellectual property across several regions worldwide.
Founded in 1990, Managing IP has become a leading resource for contemporary issues in intellectual property, news on major cases, business deals, legislation, surveys of leading IP firms, and conferences.
In December 2013, Managing IP released its 40 Cases of the Year highlighting the most influential cases from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
The CIPIT Law blog — published through Strathmore Law School’s Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT), provides information on IP laws and development in East Africa, IP portfolio management, trade secrets, IP valuation, patent drafting and filing, and effective IP licensing.
This blog provides a platform for Strathmore University’s faculty, students and guest writers to publish articles on intellectual property rights and protection.
In 2013, the CIPIT Law blog highlighted a variety of topics including: South Africa’s draft National Policy on IP, color and sound trademarks, anti-counterfeiting in Kenya, collecting societies in Nigeria and Kenya and the Marrakesh Treaty on Visually Impaired and Print Disabled Persons.
Site URL: http://ipeyeblog.com/
IPEye was conceptualised and created by two Canadian law students — Mekhala Chaubal and Tracy Ayodele.
It offers student reviews and discussions on issues in intellectual property and their experiences interning in IP intensive programs.
Between 2012 and 2013, IPEye looked at copyright enforcement in Nigeria, trademarks in Zambia, technology transfer in Nigeria, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, protection offered under the Nigerian Copyright Act, Digital Piracy, Software Patents and Open Source.
Site URL: http://nials-nigeria.org/
Founded in 1979, the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) is an apex institution for research and advanced studies in law. NIALS provides expert analysis, research guides and helpful links to online legal resources.
Through its Journal of Intellectual Property, which is a bi-annual peer-reviewed journal, NIALS publishes articles on trademarks, copyright and patents from Nigeria and other countries on the African continent.
The 2012 Edition of the journal covers topics including bio-cultural knowledge and challenges to intellectual property in Africa, the copyright system in Nigeria, the role of copyright in Kenya and review of case law from Nigeria.
10. And then of course, we do our best at NLIPW to bring you all things intellectual property-related in Nigeria.
Other useful sites include WIPO, IAM Magazine, Nigerian Law Today, World Trademark Review, Coson blog, African LII, Kenya Law, TextTheLaw, INTA, IP-Watch, Legalistiq, CGIAR, ARIPO, The IP Journal, and Citric Music Live.