Intellectual Property Laws Act regulations in the pipeline
09 Mar 2020
Regulations to the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act (IPLAA) of 2013 will be developed during 2020/21.
The trade and industry department announced this during a briefing on the IPLAA and its alignment to the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of the Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Act of 2019.
The IPLAA has not yet come into effect.
According to the department, the drawing up of regulations was halted in 2015 due to the pending IK bill.
The IK act focuses on bio piracy, misappropriation, promotes registration of IK, recognises prior learning of practitioners, benefit sharing for communities, facilitates research and development and creates mechanisms for dispute resolution for the communities.
The department declared that alignment between the IPLAA and the IK Act will take place.
IPLAA aims to recognize and protect certain manifestations of indigenous knowledge.
It amended the SA Copyright Act 1978, the Performers’ Protection Act 1967, the Trade Mark Act 1993 and the Design Act 1993 to include certain forms of IK protection.
The plan is for the science and innovation department to record traditional knowledge from communities while the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission will register traditional knowledge that requires IP protection.
The department also announced that the science and innovation department will be developing regulations for the IK act at the same time.
In a nutshell, the “DSI legislation provides a sui generis protection of indigenous knowledge in perpetuity while IPLAA compliments it by availing protection of derivative intellectual property through the intellectual property regime”.
Meanwhile, in a briefing to the portfolio committee on trade and industry, the science and innovation department declared that the concept of the protection of IK is wider than intellectual property.
It added that a “consortia and cooperative government approach as in Operational Phakisa is needed in the emerging sector of Indigenous knowledge”.
As far as the department is concerned, the question is no longer whether the IPLAA or the IK Act can co-exist but rather “how the NEMBA, the Traditional Health Practitioners Act, IPLAA and the IK Act can create a viable sector for the provision of indigenous knowledge services, products and processes for the benefit of communities and the nation at large”.
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