WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018
By Chidi Oguamanam For the 35th time in 18years, experts have yet again gathered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva where they are scheduled to remain in deliberation between March 19 and 23, 2018. This meeting of the WIPO expert committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore … Continue reading WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018
Reconciling Intellectual Property Rights and African Development: The Right to Development Conference Charts the Way Forward
By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu In September 2017, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation[i] and the Centre for Human Rights (CHR)[ii], Faculty of Law University of Pretoria gathered together a group of academics and business persons at a conference to discuss “Regional Perspectives on the Right to Development.”[iii] At this conference I had the honour of presenting one of … Continue reading Reconciling Intellectual Property Rights and African Development: The Right to Development Conference Charts the Way Forward
By Sarah El Saeed The Egyptian Government has begun in pushing through a fiscal and monetary reform plan that includes various unpopular austerity measures. In the first quarter of 2017, inflation hit a 30-year high of 31.5%, following several state subsidy cuts being made. The value of the Egypt pound has also declined by more … Continue reading Egypt’s New Investment Law: Creating Better Opportunities for Small Businesses?
Mr. Sileshi Hirko, a PhD candidate in the Common Law Section of the University of Ottawa, has won the Civil Society Scholars Award (CSSA). CSSA is a research grant from the Open Society Foundations, and it is awarded to PhD students for field research and to scholars for a research project. With significant financial support … Continue reading Open AIR’s Sileshi Hirko wins competitive grant
By Uchenna Ugwu How can “user rights” and exceptions to copyright be used most effectively to ensure access to knowledge for all? This question is a very important one because access to knowledge is so integral to innovation. In May 2017, the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor convened the Copyright User Rights … Continue reading Open AIR NERG presents at Windsor Symposium on Copyright User Rights and Access to Justice
WIPO Special Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expression Shies Away from Consolidating its Mandate but Agrees on Lack of Indigenous Participation
The World Intellectual Property Organization’s specialist committee charged with negotiating text-based instrument(s) for the effective protection of Genetic Resources (GRs), Traditional Knowledge (TK), and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs), on Friday June 16 2017 concluded its 34th session with partial agreement on its mandate and on the fate of the committee and its work program.
There is often a limited and constricted view of African innovation, especially when it comes to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). While there is the common perception that refugees on the continent are resilient, innovative, and resourceful, it is only in the sense that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Too often, refugees and IDPs are perceived as persons with only needs. The reality is that refugees and IDPs are just like everyone else and bring many skills, ideas, and innovations to the global marketplace, both the marketplace of ideas and of goods.
Earlier this year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held a two-day workshop on “Supporting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Use the Intellectual Property System in Their Competitive Strategy” at the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Cairo, Egypt, which some of our Open AIR NERG members attended. The goal of this meeting was to discuss how to encourage young innovators to protect their inventions by patenting them at the Egyptian Patent Office. The workshop had vibrant and sometimes heated discussions between these innovators and government officials regarding many of the obstacles faced in the patenting process in Egypt.
Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Henry Mutai on IP, Trade and Regional Integration in Africa
On 10 June 2015, the Agreement establishing a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) was signed in Egypt bringing together 26 African countries from three major regional blocs: the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Following the signing, the current phase of the TFTA negotiations are meant to cover five agenda items: trade in services, cooperation in trade and development, competition policy, intellectual property (IP) rights, and cross-border investment. The fourth of those five issues was the subject of the second Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Henry Kibet Mutai.
In part 1, I discussed our preliminary findings from 73 field interviews conducted by my team and I in the Otigba Market Cluster. Since then we have conducted an additional 123 interviews, making a total of 200 interviews in all. In this second post, I will discuss more on the kind of innovations in the cluster, how MSMEs in the cluster scale-up, and the impact of knowledge sharing on MSMEs’ innovativeness.
Back in October 2016, three of our Open AIR Research Fellows had the unique and rewarding opportunity to participate in the Second Annual Institute of African Studies Undergraduate Research Conference at Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies. Undergraduate researchers from across the globe presented their research findings on a wide breadth of topics – from fiction describing Nigerian culture, to professional development for youth in South Africa, to political structures that influenced the welfare state in Tanzania and Kenya.
Is intellectual property (IP) gender neutral? No. Neither is the dominant discourse on innovation. Recognizing this bias is the first step toward remedying it.
Under the masterful guidance of our North African hub leader, Nagla Rizk, six NERGs are currently engaged in research spanning North Africa. Our AUC hub is the lead on research into economics, innovation, and metrics (among other topics). Nagla has been with Open AIR since its evolution from the ACA2K (Africa Copyright Access to Knowledge) group in 2011 and is now looking in depth into the issue of how to measure innovation in a manner that accurately reflects what is happening on the ground in most, if not all, of the African continent.
Open data has the potential to end global hunger. Farmers, government ministers, NGOs, and private firms gathered to collaborate on openness in agriculture in New York City at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit on September 16 and 17, 2016.
Le travail panafricain comprend plusieurs défis, entre autre la grandeur du continent, sa diversité, les différences juridiques, et la complexité des langues. Les défis sont particulièrement marqués pour l’innovation africaine. Il y a deux organismes régionaux dans le domaine de la propriété intellectuelle, en plus de l’Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle, ce qui souligne la diversité et les divisions linguistiques et régionales. Pour Open AIR, un réseau de recherche qui travaille dans de différents domaines de l’innovation et la propriété intellectuelle, on rencontre plusieurs défis à cause de cette diversité.