Traditional Knowledge

Traditional Knowledge

Freedom to innovate – did Government get the message?

Posted on Apr 16, 2017

Freedom to innovate – did Government get the message?

On 27 April, Freedom Day, we will pause to mark the most significant moment in South African history and commemorate the day when freedom, above all else, became the nation’s guiding principle. The day before, World IP Day, we celebrate the achievements of our brethren that influence our every-day lives and the ability of free human intellectual endeavour to improve our lives. In recent years, Freedom Day celebrations have been reduced to the favourite grandstanding occasion for politicians. While celebrating, many public figures will repeat the customary refrain of this day – remark...

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The Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill, 2016: Has the DST lost its resolve?

Posted on Apr 18, 2016

The Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill, 2016: Has the DST lost its resolve?

1 Introduction Despite there being no internationally-accepted agreement on the mechanism for protecting indigenous (or traditional) knowledge, or indigenous (or traditional) cultural expressions, the South African government appears to be determined to introduce some form of protection in this area. To that end, the Department of Science and Technology (“DST”) published the latest draft of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill (the “2016 IKS Bill) on 8 April 2016 (GG 39910).[1] This follows its first draft Bill which was published...

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A Better Second Attempt – Protection of Indigenous Knowledge

Posted on Apr 8, 2015

A Better Second Attempt – Protection of Indigenous Knowledge

On 20 March 2015 the Department of Science and Technology published the first draft of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill, 2014 (the “IKS Bill) and called for comments. The Chair of IP Law has responded to this call and delivered extensive representations on the IKS Bill authored by two of its members, Prof Karjiker and Dr Kleyn. The full text of Prof Sadulla Karjiker’s comments is available here.  The full text of Dr Madelein Kleyn’s comments is available here.  Below follows an overview of the IKS Bill in its...

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Unveiling The Wolf

Posted on Feb 11, 2014

Unveiling The Wolf

The erstwhile Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill (“IPLAB”), generally known as the “Traditional Knowledge Bill”, became an Act when it was published in the Government Gazette as having been assented to by President Jacob Zuma on 10 December 2013. This despite vociferous objection from the IP community and other informed sources. (Read more about IPLAB here, here, here and here.) The general consensus was that the Bill was fundamentally flawed and an abominable piece of legislation. Issue was not taken with the notion that traditional knowledge requires improved protection, but...

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Government’s reflections on the world of Intellectual Property

Posted on Sep 30, 2013

Government’s reflections on the world of Intellectual Property

INTRODUCTION Have you ever basked in the warm sunshine of a glorious summer’s day, in daydreaming mode, and allowed your mind simply to wander at random? You start with a thought, you turn it over in your mind, and then a point is reached where you go off at a tangent and muse over some largely unrelated thought, only to be diverted in yet another direction. Eventually you may go the full circle and come back momentarily to the point of departure, before heading off again elsewhere. Daydreaming can be a very pleasant experience and it has the beauty that you do not have to make any...

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The Rooibos Rush

Posted on Aug 6, 2013

The Rooibos Rush

South Africa is no stranger to the fever that accompanies the discovery of gemstones or precious metal in a particular region. Indeed, for decades the mineral riches of our nation were legendary across the world and the object of several battles for imperial, colonial or feudal control over the diamond, gold, platinum and coal fields of South Africa. As a testament to this, the foothills of Table Mountain is home to the Rhodes Memorial dedicated to the fervently imperialist, English mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes, former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, founder of De Beers Consolidated...

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