Copyright & A2K Issues - 11 December 2013

South Africa enacts controversial Traditional Knowledge legislation under the Intellectual Property Amendment Act No. 28 of 2013

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, No 28 of 2013 (South Africa) was published in Government Gazette no 37148 of 10 December 2013.  Online access not yet available. 

The aim of the Act is “To provide for the recognition and protection of certain manifestations of indigenous knowledge as a species of intellectual property; to this end to amend certain laws so as to provide for the protection of relevant manifestations of indigenous knowledge as a species of intellectual property, namely, the Performers’ Protection Act, 1967, to provide for the recognition and protection of performances of traditional works; the Copyright Act, 1978, to provide for the recognition and protection of indigenous works; to provide for the establishment of a National Council in respect of indigenous knowledge; to provide for National Databases for recording indigenous knowledge and to provide for the recording of indigenous works; and to provide for the establishment of a National Trust Fund for Indigenous Knowledge; the Trade Marks Act, 1993, to provide for the recognition of indigenous terms and expressions and for the registration of such terms and expressions as trade marks; to create for this purpose a further part of the trade marks register; to provide for the recording of indigenous terms and expressions; and to provide for further protection of geographical indications; the Designs Act, 1993, to provide for the recognition and registration of indigenous designs; to create for this purpose a further part of the designs register; and to introduce statutory provisions to provide for the establishment of a National Council in respect of indigenous knowledge, a National Database for the recording of indigenous knowledge and a National Trust and Trust Fund for purposes of indigenous knowledge; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.”

This Act comes into operation on a date to be proclaimed by the President in the Government Gazette.