TUNISIA (May 2018)

Representatives from Adams & Adams, Simon Brown, Nicky Garnett and Dieter Welthagen travelled to Tunis  to visit our Associate Office, as well as the Institut National de la Normalisation et de la Propriete Industrielle (INNORPI) . We met with the Director General Ms Amel Ben Farhat and a number of registry officials including Mokhtar Hamdi, Director of Industrial Property , Nafaa Boutiti, Deputy Director of Industrial Property and Hasna Rezgui ep Chahdoura, Head of Service Bilateral Cooperation Foreign Relations Unit and  Nawel Zbidi Daghma Deputy Director , Service Bilateral Cooperation Foreign Relations Unit. We were given an introduction to the varied responsibilities of INNORPI and the recently launched Industrial Property Management Program . In terms of this program, INNORPI seeks to bridge the gap between research and intellectual property protection and several Technology Transfer offices as well as technoparks and technical centres have been opened in an effort to increase the awareness of the benefits of using the IP system as a business tool. INNORPI also has an IP Academy providing  training activities for local IP Professionals and users of the IP system. They have recently started conducting substantive search and examination of patent applications. It currently has limited capacity but aims to appoint 10 examiners  covering all technical fields in the near future

Partners, Nicky Garnett, Simon Brown and Dieter Welthagen with the Director General Ms Amel Ben Farhat (centre), Hasna Rezgui ep Chahdoura, Head of Service Bilateral Cooperation Foreign Relations Unit (left), Nafaa Boutiti, Deputy Director of Industrial Property (second from left), Nawel Zbidi Daghma Deputy Director , Service Bilateral Cooperation Foreign Relations Unit (third from left), Mokhtar Hamdi, Director of Industrial Property (third from right) and Mondher Al Mensi, local agent (second from right)

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EGYPT (May 2018)

Representatives from Adams & Adams, Simon Brown, Nicky Garnett and Dieter Welthagen travelled to Cairo to visit our Associate Office, as well as Patent and Trade Mark Offices. Our Associate Office in Egypt was opened in 2017 upon recognition of the growing importance of this country in Africa’s economic future. Our Associate Office arranged a visit for us to the Patent Office where we met with Mr Adel E Ewida, President of the Egyptian Patent Office and Dr Mona Mohamed Mohamed Yahia, Head of the Examination Department at the Egyptian Patent Office. We represent a number of local and international patent clients in Egypt and it was an excellent opportunity to see the operations of the office first hand and meet some of the Officials with whom we deal on a regular basis. The Egyptian Patent Office is well run and almost fully automated. It receives between 2500 and 3000 patent applications annually and employs 100 patent examiners with 30 specialist examiners in the pharma and biotech fields. Egypt is one of the few countries in Africa that has an established search and examination system in place with examination taking around 3 years. We discussed the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program that is in place with the Japanese Patent Office and possible amendments to the legislation to allow for restoration of patents filed after the 30m national phase deadline.

Partners, Simon Brown and Dieter Welthagen with Mohamed Eldib, Adams & Adams Associate Office Egypt, Mr Adel E Ewida, President of the Egyptian Patent Office, Nicky Garnett (Partners) and Dr Mona Mohamed Mohamed Yahia, Head of the Examination Department.

The team, accompanied by representatives from our Associate office then paid a visit to the Trademarks Office which is housed in a separate building under the Internal Trade Development Authority. We met with Ms Mona Zaki, Head of the Central Department for Trademarks and Industrial Designs. We were given a tour of the offices and had discussions regarding the processing of trademark applications via Madrid. The Trademarks Office receives around 18 000 to 20 000 applications annually with around 50% being filed by foreign applicants. Unlike the Patent Office the Trademark and Designs Office is not fully automated but only has partially electronic records. We discussed issues regarding the processing of appeals by the Appeals Committee and the constitution thereof as well as the filing and prosecution timelines for design applications.

Partners, Dieter Welthagen and Nicky Garnett with Ms Mona Zaki, Head of the Central Department for Trademarks and Industrial Designs, Simon Brown (Partner) and Mohamed Eldib, at the Adams & Adams Associate Office Egypt

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ETHIOPIA (Apr 2018)

Representatives from Adams & Adams, Dieter Welthagen (Partner), Stephen Hollis (Partner) and Menzi Maboyi (Africa Practice Manager), travelled to Ethiopia to visit our Associate Office, as well as the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO). The team met with recently appointed Director General of the EIPO, Mr Ermias Y. Hailemariam, who replaced Dr Eshete Mandefro late last year.

Mr. Hailemariam is well known to Adams & Adams, having attended the inaugural Africa Patent Summit held at the Pretoria offices of Adams & Adams in September 2017. Discussions were held on operations at the EIPO and an offer was extended on any assistance that can be provided on advice relating to legislative amendments and other approaches adopted by other Registries in Africa. A personal invitation was extended to the DG to attend the 2018 Adams & Adams Registrars’ Summit. Following the meeting with the DG, further operational meetings were held with the Trade Marks Director, Ms Tigisi Bogale, to discuss current and outstanding cases and the Patent Director, Mr Fikere Tesfaye.

L – R: A&A Partners, Dieter Welthagen and Stephen Hollis, Mr Ermias Hailemariam, DG of the EIPO, Lidet Tizazu, Adams & Adams Ethiopia, and Menzi Maboyi, Africa Practice Manager, Adams & Adams

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TANZANIA (Apr 2018)

Representatives from Adams & Adams, Stephen Hollis, Partner, and Menzi Maboyi, Africa Practice Manager, travelled to Tanzania to visit our Associate Office, as well as the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA)

Having first established our Associate Office in Tanzania and Zanzibar in 2012, both jurisdictions continue to be important filing destinations in line with the economic growth of the East African region. We continue to visit the region regularly to engage with IP administrators as well as to review the operations of our Associate Offices.

BRELA, formally launched in 1999, is an Executive Agency under the Tanzanian Ministry of Industry and Trade responsible for business administration and regulation of the laws; namely Companies Registration, Business Names Registration, Trade and Service Marks Registration, granting of Patents and issuing of Industrial Licenses.

Our team met with Ms. Loy Mhando, Acting Deputy Registrar, Mr Seka Kasera, Senior Assistant Registrar and Mr Rafael Mtalima, Assistant Registrar: Patents. Since our first visit to BRELA in 2012, the agency has been transformed. It has moved to a new modern building, within the CBD, and has seen an improvement in its ICT systems, enabling the efficient online registration of companies, trade marks, patents and designs. The Registry initiated the Online Registration System (ORS) on 4 January 2018, one of its most significant developments. ORS has been embraced by the staff of the Registry and concerted effort is being made to streamline the registration process for companies, trade marks, patents and designs. Members of the public are encouraged to use the system to check on the progress of their applications and indeed to submit their applications using the system. The Agency aims to integrate the Industrial Property Automation System (IPAS) and ORS so that applications are filed through IPAS, and the processing and agent notifications occur through ORS. BRELA began using IPAS in 2013 and an audit of old files is currently underway with a view to having all files captured under IPAS.

We were able to discuss developments at the Registry as well as tour the facility and meet a number of the Registry staff. Discussions were also had on the Registry’s concerted efforts to resolve outstanding cases.

L – R:Menzi Maboyi (Africa Practice Manager, Adams & Adams), Mr Seka Kasera (Senior Assistant Registrar, BRELA), Ms Loy Mhando (Deputy Registrar, BRELA), Stephen Hollis (Partner, Adams & Adams)

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MOROCCO (April 2018)

Representatives from Adams & Adams, Simon Brown, Nicky Garnett and Dieter Welthagen travelled to Casablanca to visit our Associate Office, as well as the Office Marocain de la Propriete Industrielle et Commerciale (OMPIC). This was our first visit to Morocco since our Associate Office in Morocco  was opened in 2017. We met with Mr Adil El Maliki , the Director General of OMPIC and were warmly received. OMIC receives around 50000 trademark applications and 2000 patent applications annually. The Director General is passionate about encouraging local innovators and entrepreneurs to use IP as a tool for economic growth and we were incited to Participate in Casablanca IP Week later this year.  We were given a tour of the Offices and had a chance to meet with engage with some of the Registry Officials on various matters of mutual interest including Madrid applications and issues relating to examination of patent applications in Morocco.

Office Marocain de la Propriete Industrielle et Commerciale (OMPIC)
Partners, Simon Brown (L), Dieter Welthagen and Nicky Garnett, with Mr Adil El Maliki (Second from Left), Director General of OMPIC

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TOGO (Jan 2018)

For the first time in Togo, Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter, was able to successfully arrange for Togolese Customs to detain various containers of counterfeit personal care products in January 2018. A court application is being prepared to apply for the seizure and ultimately, destruction of goods.

Counterfeit goods seized in Togo

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TANZANIA (Nov 2017)

A search and seizure operation was conducted by the Fair Competition Commission in November 2017, along with Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter. A manufacturing facility was uncovered, with large quantities of branded clothing and footwear seized. Moulds being used in the manufacture of the counterfeit goods were also seized.

Adams & Adams continues to utilise its network of investigators in each country to assist with inquiries that may lead to these large seizures. Training was also conducted for the Fair Competition Commission and Customs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in May 2017 and December 2017.

Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter, with a member of the customs team, Tanzania

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NAMIBIA (Nov 2017)

Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter travelled to Namibia to conduct anti-counterfeiting training with members of Interpol, Police and Customs in November 2017. Training was also conducted for the members of the World Customs Organisation and members of Customs from Namibia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa, Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, Swaziland, Zambia, Lesotho, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe. In-market operations were subsequently carried out in ‘China Town’, Windhoek, where a large quantity of counterfeit goods, such as clothing, footwear, watches and sunglasses was voluntarily surrendered and seized.

A further seizure operation in Walvis Bay in December resulted in the confiscation of 84 672 items of personal care products. The goods are scheduled for destruction.

Anti-counterfeiting training in Namibia

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MAURITIUS (Nov 2017)

Training was conducted by Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter, with personnel of Customs in Mauritius in November 2017. Members of the Anti-Piracy Unit also attended the training session and are now able to conduct in-market search and seizure operations.

Anti-counterfeiting training in Mauritius

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GHANA (Oct 2017)

In October 2017, Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter travelled to Accra to conduct anti-counterfeiting training with members of Ghana Customs. The Customs office has requested regular training to assist with detention of goods and search and seizure operations in future.

Anti-counterfeiting training in Ghana

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KENYA (Jul 2017)

In July 2017 Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter conducted anti-counterfeiting and product identification training in Nairobi with members of Interpol and representatives from Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Search and seizure operations were conducted by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency with the assistance of the Kenyan Police. A large quantity of engine oil was seized, and criminal proceedings instituted against the offenders.

The Anti-Counterfeit Agency in Kenya has recently won several significant battles in the war against counterfeiting. According to recent reports, the Anti Counterfeit Agency (ACA) in Kenya has seized around US$ 9 million worth of goods over the last five years, with goods to the value of about US$ 5 million being destroyed in concluded cases.
The ACA is recognised as the coordinating agency in the enforcement of intellectual property protection in Kenya. Among the goods most frequently counterfeited are alcoholic beverages, drugs and medicines, cosmetics, soaps and detergents and hair products.

Counterfeiting is punishable in Kenya by a fine or imprisonment and the severity of the penalty imposed is commensurate to the crime committed. The success of the ACA has been attributed to the large number of its trained officers and their involvement in the criminal justice system. In addition, the ACA credits its success to collaboration with other intellectual property practitioners such as Adams & Adams, and the stringent legal principles which are also entrenched in the country’s constitution. Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter, conducts regular anti-counterfeiting and product identification training sessions with members of the agency in Mombasa and Nairobi.

Anti-counterfeiting training in Kenya

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ZIMBABWE (Jun 2017)

Adams & Adams Partners, Mariëtte du Plessis and Nthabi Phaswana, visited the Zimbabwean IP Office, during June 2017 and met with Mr Willie Mushayi, the Assistant Registrar. The processing of Madrid applications was discussed. The trade mark examiners had received training on the Madrid online portal and started sending certificates to WIPO. Other matters of mutual interest were also discussed.

In 2017, Adams & Adams established an Associate Office in Zimbabwe – also serving as our designated ARIPO office in respect of trade mark matters. We are also proud to announce that our local partner, Brenda Matanga, has also been elected as the Chairperson of ZIPTA. Through this closeknit relationship with our Associate Office, our firm is well placed to provide efficient service to our clients in securing IP rights in this country.

Adams & Adams Associate Office

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ETHIOPIA (Jun 2017)

Adams & Adams continues its strategy of targeting key economic destinations on the continent with the recent opening of an Associate Office in Ethiopia. The expansion of the Network is aimed at being beneficial to A&A’s clients by creating greater efficiency, more control and advantageous pricing.

Ethiopia’s phenomenal economic growth and the establishment of formal IP registration systems in 2012 has led to a significant increase in IP work in Ethiopia. We identified this important emerging market on the continent as a market where we could benefit from establishing a competent and capable Associate office.

In June 2017, Adams & Adams Partners, Stephen Hollis and Dieter Welthagen, along with Menzi Maboyi, Africa Practice Manager, travelled to Addis Ababa to meet with the Registrar, review pending matters, discuss operational issues and update the registry in regard to the concluding of the establishment of the firm’s 19th Associate Office in Africa.

Adams & Adams Partners, Dieter Welthagen and Stephen Hollis, with Tigist Bogale (Patent Directorate Administration Team Leader), Lidet Abebe (A&A Ethiopia), Dereje Weldemichael (Patents Director) and Getachew Tafa Seized counterfeit goods, Botswana (Patent Examination Team Leader)

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ANGOLA (May 2017)

In May 2017 training was conducted with members of the Customs and the Criminal Investigations Division (SIC) of the Angolan Police. As a practical exercise, members of Customs inspected several containers for counterfeit goods at the port of Luanda. As a result of the training, in June 2017, Customs officials detained containers holding large quantities of counterfeit footwear. Details of the importer and exporter were obtained allowing for further action to be pursued.

(29 Oct 2017): Further training was then conducted in October 2017, followed by an inspection of containers at the port which led to the detention of a container with a large quantity of suspected counterfeit personal care products. These detentions follow ongoing and annual product identification workshops conducted by Adams & Adams with the Angolan customs officials.

Charl Potgieter with Customs Officials in Angola

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BOTSWANA (Feb 2017)

The alarming increase in counterfeiting activities on the continent has resulted in our anti-counterfeiting team becoming more involved with local law enforcement agencies in combating counterfeiting in several African countries – through training and joint operations. In February 2017, Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter conducted customs training in Gaborone with members of the Botswana Police Detectives Unit.

The Deputy Commissioner of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Botswana Police was also present during the training.

Additional training was then conducted in July with other Police units from Gaborone, Lobatse and Francistown. The training was followed by search and seizure operations at various trading plazas around the Gaborone industrial district.

A large quantity of footwear and clothing was delivered up for destruction. The infringers were arrested and paid admission-of-guilt fines to the State.

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ZAMBIA (Feb 2017)

Training was conducted by Adams & Adams Partner, Charl Potgieter, with the Zambian Bureau of Standards (ZABS) in February 2017. Together with the police, they have indicated their willingness to assist with search and seizure operations.

Over 21,000 products were last year inspected by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) at border entry points to promote quality and authenticity among goods produced locally and those entering the country. ZABS also conducted over 1,900 factory inspections.

Anti-counterfeiting training in Zambia

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SWAZILAND (Nov 2016)

Mbabane

Representatives from Adams & Adams travelled to Swaziland to visit our associate office and the Registry. The main purpose of the visit was to meet with Registry officials to discuss Registry operations and outstanding matters. The visit was productive and discussions were held with the Registrar, Mr Stephen Magagula, who updated us on the current status of the Patents Bill 2015 and the Trade Mark Amendment Bill 2015. There are a number of exciting IP initiatives in Swaziland and regular visits will continue to be made to the Registry to offer our support to any initiatives that assist with the development of IP in Swaziland.

Nelia Hickman (A&A) with Mr Stephen Magagula, Registrar

CAMEROON (Nov 2016)

OAPI Headquarters

Yaounde

Simon Brown and Menzi Maboyi travelled to Yaounde, Cameroon in November 2016 to meet with officials from OAPI and discuss to developments within the regional filing body. We also visited our Associate Office to review files and ensure proper oversight was being provided over our matters.

L-R: Marie Mekeng, OAPI, Simon Brown, A&A, and Mercy Asima, OAPI 

ETHIOPIA (Oct 2016)

Addis Ababa

Despite a state of emergency having been declared in Ethiopia, Stephen Hollis and Menzi Maboyi travelled to Addis Ababa to visit the new Registrar of the EIPO, Dr Mandifro Eshete, at the new Registry offices. We toured the facility and were impressed by the digitalisation programme that is being implemented and the goals of the Registry to have a paperless filing system by 2018. We also visited our associated offices to review files and the operational structure in place.

Stephen Hollis (L) with Dr Mandifro Eshete, Registrar of the EIPO

EAST AFRICA – UGANDA, RWANDA, KENYA & TANZANIA

Kampala/ Kigali / Nairobi / Dar Es Salaam

Darren Olivier and Menzi Maboyi travelled to East Africa in September 2016. Other than to have one on one discussions with the Ugandan Registrar on a particular matter, the purpose of the trip was to visit our associated offices in the region to assess their ongoing capabilities and undertake a Due Diligence exercise on their operations. We also wanted to pay courtesy calls on the Registrars of each country to discuss Registry operations and any challenges we may be experiencing with the Registry.

UGANDA: Darren Olivier, A&A, (far right) with Jane Langoya, Dep Registrar (third from left), Fiona Bayiga, Director of IP (second from right) and Paul Asiimwe, A&A Associate Office (centre)

RWANDA: Darren Olivier and Menzi Maboyi, A&A, with Mr Blaise Ruhima, Division Manager of the IP Office (centre)

KENYA: L-R: Darren Olivier and Menzi Maboyi (A&A) with Mr Slyvance Sande, Managing Director, Kenyan Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), centre.

TANZANIA: Darren Olivier and Menzi Maboyi with Ms. Loy Mhando, Assistant Registrar, Business and Licensing Agency (BRELA) (third from left) and A&A Tanzania representatives

LESOTHO (Sep 2016)

Maseru

Nolwazi Gcaba and Menzi Maboyi travelled to Lesotho and met with members of our associate office and visited the Registry. The Registrar, Mrs Mohau, was unfortunately not available but we were able to meet with the Assistant Registrar, Mrs Kama, and her team. We were able to discuss Registry operational issues and follow-up on any long outstanding matters. Positive discussions were held with the Registry and we were advised of the positive development in the utilisation of the IPAS filing system initiated by WIPO. Sincere undertakings were received to review the operational issues discussed.

Image: Nolwazi Gcaba (centre) with, Mrs Kama, Assistant Registrar (L) and senior Registry staff

BOTSWANA (June 2016)

Gaberone

Eugene Honey, Menzi Maboyi (MenM), Farzana Rassool (FR) and Shakes Mashaba (SM) travelled to Botswana during June 2016, in order to meet with the Registrar of the Company and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), Mr Tim Moalusi, and Registry officials to discuss outstanding matters and current developments and to assess the operations of A&A’s associated office.

The visit coincided with the sub regional intellectual property workshop for young innovators organised by WIPO, the Africa Innovation Forum (AIF) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO). The Workshop coincided with the annual Africa Innovation awards. Eugene Honey was invited to present a paper and sit as a panellist for the session on valuation of IP assets, commercialisation and monetization.

Image L – R: Eugene Honey, A&A, Mr Tim Moalusi, Registrar of CIPA & Menzi Maboyi, A&A.

ZIMBABWE | ARIPO Patents, Designs and Trademarks

Harare

Adams & Adams attended the 5th Session of the Working Group on the Improvement of the Banjul, Harare and Swakopmund Protocols held in Harare on 3-4 May 2016. The Working Group was attended by delegates of the member states as well as users of the Banjul, Harare and Swakopmund Protocols. The ARIPO Secretariat  highlighted its mandate to maintain and adapt the Protocols to the changing environment so as to be better suited for use by the member states as well as users of the Protocols. Discussions held related, amongst other things, to:

  • renewals of ARIPO patents, designs and trademarks;
  • domestication of the Protocols by the member states as well as more effective application  of the Protocols by the member states;
  • a proposal for an increase in fees for prosecuting ARIPO patent applications
  • the improvement to the ICT infrastructure to enhance effectiveness of the office and interaction between ARIPO and its users.

ANGOLA

Luanda

On 10 March 2015, the firm visited the Registry to meet with Ms Ana Bolivar, the new Registrar. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the situation at IAPI which continues to present challenges, particularly in respect of the delays in the processing and publication of patent applications. Although a record number of Journals were being published by IAPI in 2014, very few patent applications have proceeded to grant in the past 10 years. Another concern raised with the Registrar was the long delays experienced in the prosecution of trade mark applications, in particular, the second publication of trade mark applications in the journal and the issuance of registration certificates.  We are encouraged by her enthusiasm and plans to resolve these issues, which include employing more staff and providing comprehensive staff training. Both parties undertook to communicate regularly in resolving the areas of concern and we expressed our willingness to support any initiatives by the Registry in the development of IP in Angola.   

Patents Angola

 

Image:  Simon Brown, Nicky Garnett (A&A) with Ms Ana Paula Bolivar, Registrar, Jacinto Ucuahamba, local representative, and Mr Osvaldo Chitumba Kahilo, Deputy Registrar

ZIMBABWE 2016

Harare

Adams & Adams Mozambique representatives travelled to Harare in order to meet with the

ARIPO Director-General, Mr Fernando Dos Santos, and Registry officials. The purpose of the

meeting was to discuss, among other matters, practical aspects of the recent amendments

to the Banjul and Harare Protocols, current developments, and to assess the operations

at the Registry. Also present at the meeting with the Registrar was Mr Chris Kiige, Industrial Property Director (ARIPO).

TANZANIA

Dar es Salaam

Representatives of Adams & Adams travelled to Dar es Salaam to conduct Customs training workshops and also took part in search and seizure operations conducted with members of Interpol, the Fair Competition Commission and Police. Focus was placed on formal stores as well as the main markets, including Ilala Kariakoo, Ilala Shurimoyo, Kurasini Bandari and Temeke Sudan.

ZAMBIA

Lusaka

Representatives of Adams & Adams attended the 39th Session of the annual ARIPO

Administrative Council and Council of Ministers Meetings held in Lusaka, Zambia.

The Meeting was well attended by representatives from 16 of the 19 member

states and Angola, as an Observer State. Also in attendance were representatives from

ARIPO’s Cooperating Partners such as the International Trade Mark Association (INTA),

the European Patent Office (EPO), the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) and

the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

 

African innovation was a recurring theme for speakers at the meeting, who included the

Guest of Honour, Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe, the Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade

and Industry. The decrease in the number of patent and trade mark filings was directly attributed to the economic challenges being experienced by China. This led to a significant drop in the number of patent filings from China – a decrease from 110 in 2014 to 18 in 2015.

A number of amendments to the Harare Protocol on Patents & Industrial Designs,

including the Implementing Regulations, and amendments to the Banjul Protocol on Marks,

were tabled and adopted at the Meeting and ratified by the Council of Ministers.

 

ARIPO 1

 

Image: ARIPO DG, Mr Fernando Dos Santos and Nicky Garnett (A&A)

 

ARIPO 2

 

Image: Nicky Garnett, OAPI DG, Mr Paulin Edou Edou and Nolwazi Gcaba (A&A)

LESOTHO

Maseru

Menzi Maboyi travelled to Lesotho and met with members of our associate office and visited the Registry. The Registrar, Mrs Mohau, was unfortunately not available but we were able to meet with a senior Registry official to discuss Registry operations and follow-up on any long outstanding matters. We were able to meet with the Registrar a week later when she attended the ARIPO Administrative Council Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia from 16 – 18 November 2015. Positive discussions were held with Mrs Mohau and undertakings received to review the issues discussed.

 

Lesotho

 

Image: Menzi Maboyi (A&A) at the Registry with a Registry official, Mr Padime

 

Lesotho2

 

Image:  Registry office

SEYCHELLES

Victoria

In line with our continuing efforts to engage with Registries around the continent, we visited the Seychelles Registry and discussed various issues with senior officials. The ongoing efforts of digitising all records at the Registry is helping IP efficiencies in this growing island territory which adopted new IP legislations last year.

 

Seychelles

Image:  Simon Brown (A&A) outside the Seychelles Registry

MALAWI

Llilongwe

Adams & Adams representatives travelled to Lilongwe, Malawi in order to visit our Associate office, and meet with members of the Registry, including the Deputy Registrar, Mr Chiku Namelo and Mr Chifwayi MK Chirambo, the Principal Assistant Registrar General.

 

Malawi

Image: Charl Potgieter with Mr Chiku Namelo,

SWAZILAND

Mbabane

Representatives from Adams & Adams travelled to Swaziland to visit our associate office and the Registry. The main purpose of the visit was to meet with Registry officials to discuss Registry operations and outstanding matters. The visit was productive and discussions were held with the Registrar, Mr Stephen Magagula, who updated us on the current status of the Patents Bill 2015 and the Trade Mark Amendment Bill 2015. There are a number of exciting IP initiatives in Swaziland and regular visits will continue to be made to the Registry to offer our support to any initiatives that assist with the development of IP in Swaziland.

 

Swaziland Aug 2015

Image: Menzi Maboyi (A&A) with Ms Sinethemba Khumalo, local representative, and  Mr Stephen Magagula, Registrar (right)

NAMIBIA

Windhoek

Representatives conducted Customs Training workshops with Customs officials and participated in search and seizure operations conducted by Customs and the Police. China Town and Happy Town, two hubs for counterfeit goods in Windhoek, were found to be selling significant quantities of counterfeit clothing, footwear, handbags, purses and other goods.

ZIMBABWE MAY 2015

Harare

A&A representatives travelled to Harare, at ARIPO’s invitation, to participate in the 4th Meeting of the Working Group on the Banjul and Harare Protocols which was held at ARIPO’s offices. The meeting proposed amendments to the Protocols that were adopted by the Administrative Council in November 2015 and took effect in January 2016

ZIMBABWE APRIL 2015

Harare

On 24 April 2015, Adams & Adams were invited to the ARIPO official launch of its online filing services. Ambassadors from the member states were invited to the event together with the South Korean Ambassador as most of the technical assistance had been provided by members of the South Korean IP Office.

 

ARIPO April 2014

 

Image: ARIPO DG, Mr Fernando Dos Santos, and the South Korean Ambassador at the official launch

ZIMBABWE FEBRUARY 2015

Harare

At the beginning of February 2015, members of the firm travelled to Zimbabwe and met with representatives of the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office, Mr Willie Mushayi, the Deputy Registrar and Mr Cliford Chimombe, the Chief Examiner. The state of the Registry was impressive and a lot of work was being done to motivate staff and try to improve operations. Various discussions were held over the accession to the Madrid Protocol and the amount of work still to be done on the amendment of the national laws and the readiness of the Registry to be fully integrated into the system. Proposals were made to invite Registry staff for an orientation programme to observe operations from a user’s perspective with the aim of improving the operations of the Registry in servicing its clients.

Zimbabwe2

Image 1: Nthabi Phaswana (A&A) (2nd from right) with Registry staff

Zimbabwe

Image 2: Mr Chimombe in one of the trade mark filing rooms

NAMIBIA

Windhoek

During February 2015, Adams & Adams paid a visit to the Registry and was impressed with improvements at the operational level over the past 17 months or so. Discussions were held with senior officials from BIPA and it is clear that great strides are being made in improving the state of affairs of the IP and Companies office.

Namibia

Image: Front of Registry Office

Africa travels

Image: Gérard du Plessis and Simon Brown (A&A) with Registry staff

ZIMBABWE NOVEMBER 2014

Victoria Falls

Adams & Adams was invited to attend, in an observer capacity, the 38th Session of ARIPO Administrative Council Meeting held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from 17 to 21 November 2014.

The Administrative Council Meeting is held on an annual basis and sees the coming together of representatives from all 18 ARIPO member states, including the newest member – Sao Tome and Principe, as well as representatives from the ARIPO observer states.

A number of proposals were tabled for consideration at the Meeting including:

  • proposed amendment of the Harare Protocol to facilitate accession to the Hague Agreement for International Registration of Industrial Designs
  • draft regulations for the implementation of the draft Protocol on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and the establishment of a Technical Committee on Plant Variety Protection

ARIPO - Zim

Image 1: Delegates at ARIPO Administrative Council Meeting, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

 

ARIPO - Zim2

[Image 2 : Stephen Hollis(A&A) with Mr Fernando Dos Santos, Director General of ARIPO(right)

NAMIBIA

Windhoek

Adams & Adams sent members of its anti counterfeiting team to conduct training with members of Interpol, Police and Customs in June 2014. In-market operations were subsequently carried out in Windhoek, Oshikati and Oshikango. Ongoing training sessions and raids will continue on a regular basis.

 

Namibia October 2014Image 1: Anti-counterfeiting training workshop, Walvis Bay

Namibia October 2014

Image 2: Anti-counterfeiting raid, Oshikango

TANZANIA

Dar es Salaam

Adams & Adams sent representatives from its anti-counterfeiting section to conduct training with members of the Police and Fair Competition Commission (“FCC”) in July 2014 and with the FCC, Police and Customs in December 2014. Subsequent to that in-market operations were carried out in Dar es Salaam during May 2014.

BOTSWANA

Gaborone

At the beginning of July 2014, representatives from Adams & Adams travelled to Botswana to visit our associate office and the Registry. The main purpose of the visit was to meet with Registry officials to discuss long outstanding matters in Botswana. The visit was productive and discussions were held with the Deputy Registrar, Mr Tim Moalusi. There are a number of outstanding matters and regular visits will continue to be made to the Registry to clear this backlog.

Botswana - Image 1Image 1: Simon Brown, Amo Phala (A&A)with Mr Tim Moalusi, Deputy Registrar of Botswana

Botswana2 

Image 2: Registry Reception

TOGO

Lomé

In July 2014, Adams & Adams arranged and conducted a workshop in Lomé for Interpol as well as Customs and Police officials from Togo. The workshop was well received and plans are underway for further training in 2015 and possible raids to be conducted around the city.

 

Togo - Training

Image: Anti-Counterfeit training workshop, Lomé

ETHIOPIA

Addis Ababa

Adams & Adams visited Addis Ababa twice in 2014 to clarify issues surrounding the regularization of existing Ethiopian trade mark registrations to ensure the their validity in terms of the new and first-ever Ethiopian Trade Marks Act  which came into effect on 24 December 2012.  Various and sometimes contradictory practice directives were issued by the Registry which required clarification.  Meetings with the Director-General of EIPO were held on several occasions and as a result of tense negotiations on our visit in June 2014, we managed to negotiate a 6-month extension of the 23 June 2014 deadline which was originally set for the regularization of all existing Ethiopian trade mark registrations.  This extension provided some breathing space for all stake holders concerned about the validity of their existing Ethiopian registrations.  The final deadline of 23 December 2014 has now come and gone and only time will tell how EIPO will cope with the implementation of an entirely new trade mark registration process in terms of which marks will be examined substantively and where third party opposition proceedings are available.

EthiopiaImage 1: Stephen Hollis (A&A)(centre) with our local representative and the former DG, Mr Berhanu Adello (right)

RWANDA

Kigali

In March 2014, Adams & Adams arranged and conducted a workshop in Kigali for Interpol as well as Customs and Police officials from Rwanda. A&A subsequently returned to Kigali in June 2014 and assisted Customs and Police with several raids around the city.

Rwanda -Training

Image 1: Anti-Counterfeit training workshop, Kigali

 

Rwanda -Raid conducted June 2014

Image 2 – Counterfeit goods being seized, Kigali

 

GHANA

Accra

Adams & Adams sent members of its anti counterfeiting team to conduct training with members of Interpol and Ghana Police and Customs in February 2014. Subsequent to that, a number of in-market operations were carried out leading to seizure and eventual destruction of goods identified to be counterfeit products for a prominent US based heavy equipment manufacturer.

 

Ghana

Image 1 – Charl Potgieter( A&A) (extreme right) with Dawn Barritea (front left) from the International Customs Enforcement, USA and Customs Officials.

 

Ghana2

Image 2 – Anti-counterfeiting training workshop

 

Ghana 3

Image 3 – Seizure of counterfeit goods

UGANDA

Kampala

Adams & Adams representatives attended, in an observer capacity, the 37th Session of the ARIPO Administrative Council Meeting held in Kampala, Uganda at the invitation of ARIPO. The meeting was well attended by representatives from all the member states. Uganda, through the Registrar General of the Ugandan Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Mr Twebaze Bemanya, was elected as the new Chair of the Administrative Council until 2015. Items to note for the future from the Conference was ARIPO’s possible accession to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs and Sao Tome and Principe becoming new observer states.

Whilst in Uganda we also visited our partner offices in Kampala as we continue to establish our presence in East Africa.

 

uganda_travel

 

Image 1: Nthabi Salani (Adams & Adams) with Wéré Gazaro, Director: Department of Protection of Industrial Property, OAPI. Image 2: Nthabi with Mr Fernando Dos Santos, Director General, ARIPO. Image 3: Ms Leonila Kishebuka, Registrar: Tanganyika and Mr Twebaze Bemanya, Registrar General of the Ugandan Registration Services Bureau (URSB). Image 4: Nthabi with local representatives in Kampala. Image 5: Menzi and Nthabi with local representatives in Kampala.

EGYPT

Cairo

 

Adams & Adams also travelled to Egypt to visit our local partners and the IP Office. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen our ties within our existing North African Network and to ascertain, firsthand, the environment under which the Registry and our partners are operating. The visit was a great success and the gesture was well received by all. The Registry, comprising 44 employees with 20 trade marks examiners, continues to operate despite the trying circumstances and trade mark applications filed range between 1200 and 1300 per month. The Patents Registry is also fully operational.

 

Egypt_law

Image 1: Menzi Maboyi (Adams & Adams) with Ms Mona Ahmed Zaki, Registrar and representatives from our partner firm. Image 2: Trade Marks Registry, Egypt. Image 3: Menzi with local representatives in Cairo. Image 4: Menzi with local representatives in Cairo. Images 5 & 6: Nile River, Cairo.

BOTSWANA

Gaborone

At the end of October 2013, A&A representatives travelled to Botswana to visit our office and the Registry. The main purpose of the visit was to meet Registry officials to discuss long outstanding matters  in Botswana.  The visit was productive and  discussions were held with the Deputy Registrar, Mr Tim Moalusi. Progress was made on some files but there are a lot of outstanding matters and regular visits will have to be planned over the next few months to deal with all outstanding matters.

Botswana

Image 1: Nthabi Phaswana (Adams & Adams) and Anisa Nabee with the Deputy Registrar, Mr Tim Moalusi. Image 2:  With Registry staff. Image 3: Registry offices.

ANGOLA

Luanda

A&A representatives from the Anti-Counterfeiting Department recently travelled to Luanda to conduct a customs training workshop at the behest of the Angolan Economic Police. The focus of the training was on anti-counterfeiting in South Africa and product identification training. The workshop was attended by representatives from Interpol and Angolan government institutions such as Customs and the Ministry of Trade & Industry. The workshop was well attended with more than 55 delegates present and was a great success. Requests have been received from the Economic Police to hold more training workshops next year.

Angola

 

Image 1: Lucy Signorelli & Charl Potgieter with the Commissioner of the Economic Police, Mr A. Dos Santos. Image 2: Delegates from the workshop. Image 3: Representatives from the Adams & Adams Pretoria & Angola offices with the Head of the Anti-Counterfeiting Department (Economic Police), Mr P. Ribeiro, and the Head of IP Crimes (Economic Police), Mr J. Sulissa.

NAMIBIA

Windhoek

At the beginning of August 2013 A&A representatives visited the Namibian Registry as part of a team from South Africa assisting the Registry with the training of its staff and assisting with reviewing long outstanding matters. The A&A representatives assisted on all matters ranging from the reorganisation of the filing system employed by the Registry staff to suggestions on resolving the backlog. The visit was well received by the Registry staff and requests were received for a follow up visit to be conducted in 2014.

Namibia

Image 1: Brett Oldridge with Collins Marenga, TM Examiner. Image 2: At the Registry. Image 3: Registry staff.