The Chair of Intellectual Property is a Development Chair, established with the express purpose of fostering a greater developmental drive for intellectual property in South Africa. This is done through high-level academic tuition, expert analysis, private-public coordination, rigorous protective action of established legal principles and pioneering sound adjustments to IP law to increase the production and export of intellectual property and provide adequate protection of contemporary expressions of human intellectual endeavour.
This agenda is served by means of our core functions:
Our first core function is to produce the highest level of academic research output in all areas of Intellectual Property (IP) Law, and to serve the University in this capacity. To this end the Chair has introduced two unique post-graduate programmes in IP Law to offer the highest level of IP legal tuition possible, stimulate the volume of academic research in these fields and widen access to legal eduction in this field. The introduction of the LLM (IP Law) and the PGDip (IP Law) is a first for a South African University and has established Stellenbosch University as the leading tertiary institute in Africa at the highest level of academic excellence in IP legal research and tuition. Both programmes have received the highest level of accreditation from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The members of the IP Unit are also involved in teaching several other bespoke modules of the LLB and LLM programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level and act as supervisors for all research components involving IP law and eIP law related topics. The Chair has also established the only Short Course in Intellectual Property Law in South Africa, which is accredited by Stellenbosch University and registered with the HEQC, presented annually in co-operation with the University of Cape Town.
The members of the Chair further contribute to the development of IP Law in South Africa by publishing articles, case commentary, analyses, reviews and other commentary on legal and current affairs involving IP issues. In this manner, the Chair incorporates Stellenbosch University’s academic goals and contributes to maintaining its position as the premier research institution on the continent.
The Chair encourages sensible public engagement on IP Law matters by maintaing IPStell, the official blog of the Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property. IPStell endeavors to provide the public at large with accessible, user-friendly, transparent reviews and honest critique about salient IP issues and developments in international IP Law. The blog further promotes research in IP by providing recent, up-to-date, prompt and brief insight into developments that may, and should, spark further analysis or attract attention by fellow scholars.
To learn more about study opportunities in IP Law at Stellenbosch University, click here.
Our second core function is the promotion of South African Intellectual Property (IP) both locally and abroad. It is without doubt that South African legal development has neglected the field of Intellectual Property Law and, therefore, one of the goals of the Chair is to ensure our laws are brought in step with International Intellectual Property Law.
To this end, the Chair offers its assistance to Government to help draft and pass the necessary legislation, and to advise against the introduction of unfounded statutes or impracticable law. Stellenbosch University places its proven research and academic expertise at the service of society and, by way of the Chair, new knowledge will be created and made available for the benefit of society.
The Chair is established as the custodian of Intellectual Property Law at Stellenbosch University and envisages its eventual transformation into a Centre of Excellence to promote all areas of IP. Therefore, the Chair introduced a dedicated, taught LLM in Intellectual Property Law and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law. These programmes allow the Faculty of Law (and the University) to promote the application and development of IP law in a wide variety of fields including business, science, engineering, commerce, law, banking, entrepreneurship and the arts.
Our third core function is the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) Rights at Stellenbosch University as well as the rigorous protection of Intellectual Property Law itself against unsound legal developments or practice trends that flow from underdeveloped doctrine, political motivation or careless legal harmonisation.
Through its close ties with the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Intellectual Property, the Chair endeavors to steer the development of IP Law toward reclaiming its rightful place in Global Intellectual Property Law. Therefore, the Chair has undertaken the duty to safeguard local IP law while advocating appropriate measures for reform that is supported by foreign and international law.
At home, the Chair offers its expertise to every division of the University and its many organs, divisions, spin-off companies and related institutions to provide sound IP Law advise and practical guidance. These include all the Academic Departments, Centers of Excellence, the University’s technology transfer company (InnovUS), the University’s Press (SunMedia) and the Division for Communication and Liaison.