chapter  23
36 Pages

Implementing the TRIPS Agreement in Africa – Francis Mangeni

The first standard point that should be made on preparing and adopting laws, especially laws in quite involved areas like TRIPS, is this: use precedents, though not quite in the same sense as the nine year old the teacher caught copying from the next pupil, who leapt to his defence saying, ‘I am only looking for a precedent!’. But in three senses; first, that developing countries need to adopt coherent and convincing state practice to pit against any efforts to put adverse meanings to certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, especially meanings that reflect only the practice, experience and interests of developed countries based on their domestic laws and their court and administrative decisions; second, that a common regional understanding and approach to TRIPS obligations will facilitate cooperation among intellectual property offices and between governments at large; and third, that the building of expertise at the regional level through training and basic teaching will be greatly facilitated through real equivalence in courses of learning that cover more or less the same subject matter and through making the establishment of regional training facilities meaningful and useful as a result of similar legal and policy regimes on the subject.