Von Seidels attorney and trademark practitioner, Adré Pretorius attended the 42nd session of the ARIPO Administrative Council held on 19-23 November 2018 in Windhoek, Namibia. The meeting was attended by Registries, Ministers and Ambassadors from ARIPO member states, countries that are in the process of joining ARIPO, as well as representatives from:
- OAPI Registry
- European Patent Office (EPO)
- Japanese Patent Office (JPO)
- Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
- International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV)
- African Seed Traders Association (AFSTA)
- Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)
There was a big push at this year’s meeting for member states to accede to and domesticate the provisions of all the ARIPO Protocols, especially the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and the Banjul Protocol on Marks. Part of this was a Seminar on Plant Variety Protection in cooperation with UPOV and the USPTO, which is also why there were so many plant variety offices and other related bodies represented.
The programme included a discussion on IP, Innovation and Branding: Strengthening the Business Competitiveness in Africa, which was organised by WIPO and the JPO. It gave good insight into the ARIPO member states’ IP laws, and their similarities and differences.