Legislative Review of South Africa’s IP Amendment Bill

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On 8 and 10 June, Johanna von Braun and Laureen Manuel (Natural Justice) participated as experts at the Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry in South Africa’s Parliament to give input into further amendments proposed to the Intellectual Property Amendment Bill. The Bill (B8-2010), which has been discussed within South Africa’s government for more than a year, seeks to amend four national intellectual property frameworks, namely the Performers’ Protection Act (1967), the Copyright Act (1978), the Trade Marks Act (1993) and the Designs Act (1993). Due to a significant level of the Members’ skepticism of the benefit of the current drafting of the Bill, the Committee decided to redraft it entirely. During the meetings, Natural Justice highlighted its views on the limitations of protecting traditional knowledge through conventional forms of intellectual property, apart from some forms of defensive protection it may offer. Natural Justice has been invited to accompany the process as the need arises in the coming future.

12 June 2011

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