The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, today officiated the annual Technical Committees meetings for the Seventh Session of the Technical Committee on Industrial Property, the Fourth Session of the Technical Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, and the Second Session of the Technical Committee on Plant Variety Protection that began are being held from 17-18 August 2017 at the ARIPO Secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The three committees will examine reports on activities and initiatives undertaken or planned this year by the Secretariat to ensure that they are in line with the mandates of the Organization.
According to the Mr. dos Santos, these activities and initiatives should be working towards the growth of the Organization and be in the best interest of ARIPO Member States.
More specifically, the Technical Committee on Industrial Property will focus on the improvement of the operations in the Industrial Property field and will among other things consider a number of amendments to the Harare and the Banjul Protocols to render them more user-friendly.
The Copyright and Related Rights committee will look at the Report on Feasibility Study and development of policy framework for the establishment of a Regional Voluntary Copyright Registration and Notification system. This will promote the development and coordination between ARIPO, the copyright offices, Collective Management Organizations, right holders and other stakeholders.
The Copyright and Related Rights Committee will take into consideration the draft Africa Agenda on Copyright and Related Rights which was a result of the Symposium on Copyright and Related Rights that was held from 5 to 7 June 2017 at ARIPO. These items of the agenda and the rest will help shape the copyright and related rights systems in Africa.
The Technical Committee on Plant Variety Protection, which is meeting for the second time from its creation, will discuss among other things the draft Regulations for the implementation of the Arusha Protocol on Plant Variety Protection as well as other documents which are expected to support the operationalization of the Arusha Protocol.
This time round, ARIPO has also invited Member States and Civil Society representatives who provided relevant contributions for the improvement of the Draft Regulations. The countries include Malawi, Namibia, Uganda and the African Centre for Biodiversity.
After these considerations the committees will then make recommendations to give clear guidance to the next session of the Administrative Council to be held in November 2017 for possible adoption of the proposals and other technical matters under discussion.