The International Trademark Association (INTA) CEO, Mr. Etienne Sanz de Acedo will on Monday, 26 June 2017 at 0930 hours visit the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).  The CEO’s mission is to understand how to better serve and increase INTA membership in Africa as well as strengthen ties and cooperation with ARIPO, government departments, the Judiciary and academic institutions responsible for or who have a stake in the effective use of trademarks for development.

INTA is the global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Recently, INTA has been paying more attention to Africa. INTA CEO, Mr. De Acedo, says his priorities are “to becoming truly global” and “engaging as many constituencies as possible.” 

INTA undertakes advocacy work throughout the world to advance trademarks and offers educational programs and informational and legal resources of global interest.

At ARIPO, the CEO will meet with the agents, attorneys and brand owners based in Zimbabwe starting 9.30am.

Mr. Acedo, accompanied by the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, will later on meet with the Zimbabwean Chief Justice, Justice Luke Malaba and the Vice President, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

INTA has 7 member organizations in Zimbabwe and in Africa 248 members from 37 countries. Globally, it has more than 7,000 organizations from 190 countries. INTA members collectively contribute almost US $12 trillion to global GDP annually. For comparison, the 2015 annual GDP of the top three markets was $10.9 trillion (China), $16.2 trillion (European Union) and $17.9 trillion (United States).

The Association's member organizations represent some 30,000 trademark professionals and include brand owners from major corporations as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, law firms and nonprofits. There are also government agency members as well as individual professor and student members.

The not-for-profit Association was founded in 1878 by 17 merchants and manufacturers who saw a need for an organization “to protect and promote the rights of trademark owners, to secure useful legislation and to give aid and encouragement to all efforts for the advancement and observance of trademark rights." 

A Strategic Planning Workshop for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) is taking place at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe from 20-23 June 2017 to come up with an action plan of CMOs involvement on copyright issues in Africa.
Organized by CISAC and ARIPO, the regional workshop is to inform and articulate on priorities, objectives and activities to be carried out in the next four years to sustain the development of CMOs in Africa.
“In the four days’ workshop, the CMOs will craft a roadmap to drive the development of royalties’ collection in Africa for the next four years,” says Mr. Samuel Sangwa, CISAC Regional Director for Africa.
“CMOs are at the heart of creative industries, they need the necessary focus to unleash the potential of creators and contribute to social-economic development.”
“The aim of the strategic planning workshop is to identify challenges, propose support and development of activities and put up a robust implementation mechanism, he adds.
According to ARIPO’s Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, “this workshop is in line with the long standing cooperation with CISAC. ARIPO greatly supports and values such initiatives on copyrights and related rights systems.”
“Copyright works and it must work for all stakeholders, adds Mr. dos Santos.
ARIPO is hosting the workshop as the first activity within a framework of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February 2017 between CISAC and ARIPO.
The workshop has brought together 10 representatives from CMOs in Africa, most of them from ARIPO member states.

On 14-15 June 2017, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) held its first Intellectual Property (IP) awareness creation with universities and research institutions that was hosted at the Njala University in Sierra Leone.

This is an initiative by ARIPO to reach institutions of higher learning in Africa so that they utilize the IP system nationally and regionally so that IP rights can bring economic development to the universities, rights holders and the country at large.

Organized together with the University of Sierra Leone, more than 100 participants took part in the seminar. They were from the University of Sierra Leone, The University of Makeni, Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology, Eastern Polytechnic, Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, Freetown Teachers’ College, The Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute and representatives from the Tertiary Education Commission.

From the seminar, it emerged that there was a low uptake of IP in Sierra Leone. To counter this, it was recommended there be inclusion and the development of IP Policies in universities and tertiary institutions, to undertake awareness raising initiatives, teaching of IP and establishment of IP Units in the different institutions.

This seminar was the first of this new approach by ARIPO that will directly involve universities and research institutions in awareness raising about IP. ARIPO will organize similar initiatives in Swaziland and Zambia in 2017.

On 5 June 2017, a three day symposium on copyright and related rights began at the headquarters of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in Harare under the theme: "Shaping the Copyright and Related Rights Systems in Africa". The symposium brought together copyright offices, collective management organisations in ARIPO Member States and entrepreneurs together to discuss pertinent issues on copyright and related rights and ARIPOs role on shaping the copyright and related rights system in Africa. A number of copyright and related rights issues including: the economic importance of copyright and the creative industries for African countries; the legal framework for copyright; essential components in the administration of copyright at the national level; using copyright to create an enabling environment and the content industry in the digital environment are being discussed.

The symposium will end on Thursday, 7 June.  Seventy-three participants from the ARIPO Member States are participating in the symposium, which was officially opened by Mrs Virgina Mabhiza, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The opening ceremony was graced by several member states and potential member states’ Ambassadors to Zimbabwe or their representatives.

The resource persons are all experts in copyright and related rights at the regional and global levels. Ms Sylvie Forbin, the Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Ms Caroline Morgan the Chief Executive of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFFRO) are among the global experts taking part.

Regionally, heads of copyright offices, heads of national Intellectual Property Offices, heads of collective management organizations, as well as some cooperating partners and academics are participating.

Delegates from various Member States are also showcasing literature, products and services from their respective countries’ creative industries in an Exhibition running concurrently with the symposium.

The Director General Mr. dos Santos today met officials from the University of Alicante, to discuss and exchange information on a potential cooperation agreement between ARIPO and the University.
The potential cooperation agreement will bring on the possibility of training students from ARIPO Office and its member states in the Master of Intellectual Property programme offered by the University of Alicante.
The Alicante University delegation was led by Mrs Esperanza Gallego, Professor of Commercial Law and Member of the Board of Directors of the Magister Lucentinus, whilst Mr. Charles Pundo, Head of Formality Examination accompanied the Director General.
The Magister Lucentinus is structured in separate modules, such as patents and technology transfer (I), trademarks, designs and competition (II), Copyright and Information technology rights  (III). Students can decide to attend one or several modules or the entire master program.
Since three years the Master has started offering a two days intensive course on Plant Variety Rights, which fall under the first module on patents.  
This programme has already been extended to the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO), patent examiners attend the patents and technology transfer module of the Magister Lucentinus.
If concluded, this may result in the programme commencing under the agreement as early as the last quarter of 2017.

São Tomé, April 25 and 26, 2017

The National IP Office of São Tomé and Príncipe (SENAPI) organized a seminar to assess the level of implementation of the National Plan for the development of IP 2013 – 2018. The seminar was attended by stakeholders in the IP arena, namely: government institutions, private sector, patent agents and trademark attorneys, academic community, creative industries and artists in general.

The opening ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Finance, Trade and Blue Economy, Honourable Américo Ramos who stressed the importance of IP in the implementation of the government vision encapsulated in the Agenda of Transformation of São Tomé and Príncipe.

The Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Fernando dos Santos pledged support to the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe through SENAPI for better use of IP to promote social, economic and technological development and the realization of the noble objectives of the Agenda of Transformation of São Tomé and Príncipe. The Director General informed the audience that since the accession of the country to the Harare Protocol on Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Designs and the Banjul Protocol on Marks in 2014, users worldwide filed through the ARIPO system 369 patents, 159 industrial designs, 110 marks and 6 utility models designating São Tomé and Príncipe.

The half-way assessment of the National Plan for the development of IP 2013 – 2018 concluded that the country is in the right path in the development of their IP system and there is a call for more collaboration between the stakeholders.