Afro-IP is an IP blog that covers the African intellectual property law, practices and policies. It provides the reader with news, information and comments on IP law, practice and business deals pertaining to the continent of Africa.
Born in the last week of December 2007, Afro-IP arose from the concern of team leader Darren Olivier that there was no decent source from which to obtain reliable news concerning IP developments in Africa and nowhere to put it once you’d gotten hold of it. This is because, while most of Africa faces the same crippling problems of counterfeits, border controls, deficient technology transfer, detection and enforcement of infringers, the continent is split between nearly 60 jurisdictions and many different legal cultures. This makes conventional for-profit IP publishing in the form of law reports, practitioners’ texts and scholarly writing a largely untenable proposition. The weblog, in contrast, is free, easy to update and increasingly accessible.
The Afro-IP team is largely Anglophone, but the blog also welcomes postings in other major African languages. Despite its recent provenance, Afro-IP has already established a large following. The blog posts about 5 to 15 items a month and is said to receive between 20000-30000 casual visits every month.
Afro-IP has undoubtedly grown in the recent years to establish itself as one of the leading blogs in the world and more particularly as the only blog wholly dedicated to IP in Africa. Africa has had long standing issues with the monopolistic powers of the world in the field of patents, more specifically in the field of pharma patents. Africa is also home to some of the most exquisite forms of art and traditional knowledge which showcase a large IP Commercialization potential. While a majority of the African population remains unaware of these IP potentials and for that matter, the African IP Law itself, a blog such as Afro-IP is putting in its best efforts to make the people aware of the IP Laws and their IP rights. This in itself is worthy of praise.
While commending the efforts of the blog in helping people understand the state of affairs of African IP, Dr. Kalyan C Kankanala, Leading IP Attorney and Founder of SiNApSE Blog said that:
“Afro-IP is the most reliable source of intellectual property news and updates from Africa. It plays an important role in defining legal, business and policy developments in the region, and is arguably the best IP blog in the world on African Intellectual Property.
We at SiNApSE Blog would like to congratulate Darren, Caroline and others for their telling contributions and efforts.”
The blog runs on a blogspot account and thus considering the fact that the blog is so well received and well followed, it is suggested that the blog switch to a platform that is updated and provides a good reading experience to the reader. For instance, I did find some difficulty in accessing blogs pertaining to certain specific categories, say Copyrights for example, or Pharma patents and Trademarks to name a few. However, despite these minor difficulties, the blog is irrefutably quality consistent. We at SiNApSE sincerely appreciate the blog and the efforts of the team responsible for the blog. We wish it all the success and growth that it deserves.
Authored by Gaurav Mishra