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AfrIPI Co-hosts a Judges’ Colloquium in Namibia

5 May 2023

Intellectual Property Rights & Innovation in Africa (AfrIPI) hosted the Judges’ Colloquium on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Africa, from 3 to 5 May 2023 at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre in Swakopmund, Namibia. The event was hosted in cooperation with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Government of the Republic of Namibia, represented by the Business Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA), the United States Department of Justice, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT), and the International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Africa Program.

The Colloquium brought together judges and lawyers that handle intellectual property (IP) matters in ARIPO Member and Observer States to share experiences and information to develop and strengthen IP law in Africa. In addition, the Colloquium leveraged existing initiatives to advance IP adjudication in Africa, such as, the Africa Regional IP Benchbook Project co-facilitated by ARIPO and ICHIP Africa Program.

The participating States at the Colloquium included Botswana, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe.

The Colloquium aimed to create a network of judges that would continue the exchange of IP cases and developments in the region. The event also provided an opportunity for judges to discuss the importance of IP case-law, which is key in informing IP rights holders and users on the enforceability of the IP rights granted by ARIPO.

AfrIPI created a pan-African database of IP rights case-law in 2021. The Colloquium also served as a platform for AfrIPI to discuss the case-law database with the judges and lawyers to ensure it remains updated, relevant, and a valuable source of IP law.

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