Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa

Jeremy de Beer, Chris Armstrong, Chidi Oguamanam, Tobias Schonwetter

August 2014
Cape Town Press
ISBN:  978-1-919895-99-4

Abstract:

Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa is an edited volume of real-world case studies examining innovators in nine countries – Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa – across many sites of innovation and creativity including music, leather goods, textiles, cocoa, coffee, auto parts, traditional medicine, book publishing, biofuels and university research.

Various forms of intellectual property protection are explored: copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications and trade secrets, as well as traditional and informal mechanisms of knowledge governance.

In the global knowledge economy, intellectual property (IP) rights – and the innovations they are meant to spur – are important determinants of progress. But what does this mean for the nations of Africa? One view is that strong IP protection can facilitate innovation in African settings. Others say that existing IP systems are simply not suited to the realities of African innovators.

This book, based on case studies and evidence collected through research across nine countries in Africa, sheds new light on the complex relationships between innovation and intellectual property. It covers findings from Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa, across many sites of innovation and creativity including music, leather goods, textiles, cocoa, coffee, auto parts, traditional medicine, book publishing, biofuels and university research. Various forms of intellectual property protection are explored: copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications and trade secrets, as well as traditional and informal mechanisms of knowledge governance.

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About the Authors:

Jeremy de Beer creates and shapes ideas about technology innovation, intellectual property, and global trade and development. As an interdisciplinary scholar, he has published five books and over three-dozen peer-reviewed chapters and articles across the disciplines of law, business, political science, international relations and public policy. He is also a co-founder and director of the Open African Innovation Research network, Open AIR, which connects dozens of researchers across African countries, Canada and elsewhere to scale up innovation by easing tensions between intellectual property and access to knowledge. Also a practicing lawyer and expert consultant, he has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, advised businesses and law firms both large and small, and consulted for agencies from national governments and the United Nations. 

Click here to visit his Faculty web page.

Chidi Oguamanam teaches Contract law, Intellectual Property and Human Rights, Agricultural Knowledge Systems, Biodiversity and Food Security. He has diverse interdisciplinary research interests in the areas of global knowledge governance in general, especially as manifested in the dynamics of intellectual property and technology law with emphasis on biodiversity, biotechnology, including agricultural biotechnology. He identifies the policy and practical contexts for the exploration of the intersections of knowledge systems, particularly western science and the traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities within the broader development discourse and paradigm.  He is interested in the global institutional and regime dynamics for negotiating access and distributional challenges in regard to the optimization of benefits of innovation by stakeholders.  

Click here to visit his Faculty web page.

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