The Intellectual Property Treaty Landscape in Africa, 1998 to 2015

Open AIR Working Paper No. 4/17

Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2017-37

32 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017 Last revised: 5 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jeremy de Beer

Jeremy de Beer

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Jeremiah Baarbé

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Students

Caroline B. Ncube

University of Cape Town

Date Written: May 5, 2017

Abstract

Intellectual property (IP) policy is an important part of economic growth and human development. International commitments harmonized in intellectual property treaties exist in tension with local needs for flexibility. Using a novel data collection and visualization method, this paper tracks the adoption of IP treaties on the continent of Africa over a 130-year period from 1885-2015. Our analysis highlights empirical data at four distinct points in time coinciding with events in African and international IP law (1935, 1965, 1995, and 2015). We explore relevant historical and legal aspects of each period to assess the evolution of the IP treaty landscape in context. Our findings show that treaties now saturate the IP policy space throughout the continent, limiting the ability to locally tailor approaches to knowledge governance.

Keywords: international law, intellectual property, development, data visualization, WIPO, WTO, trade, harmonization

Suggested Citation

de Beer, Jeremy and Baarbé, Jeremiah and Ncube, Caroline B., The Intellectual Property Treaty Landscape in Africa, 1998 to 2015 (May 5, 2017). Open AIR Working Paper No. 4/17; Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2017-37. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3008743 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3008743

Jeremy De Beer (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

Jeremiah Baarbé

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://baarbe.ca

Caroline B. Ncube

University of Cape Town ( email )

Private Bag
Rondebosch 7701
South Africa

HOME PAGE: http://www.commerciallaw.uct.ac.za/claw/staff/academic/cncube

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