Legislative Review: Review of IPR Act and Regulations: Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, No 51 of 2008, Republic of South Africa
LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg
South Africa’s Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, Act No 51 of 2008 (the IPR Act) was passed on 22 December 2008. The Act’s main object is to ‘make provision that intellectual property emanating from publicly financed research and development is identified, protected, utilised and commercialised for the benefit of the people of the Republic’ (IPR Act, 2008: s. 2(1)). The Minister of Science and Technology published corresponding draft regulations (the IPR Regulations) for comment on 9 April 2009 (DST, 2009b).1 To date, the legislation and its attendant draft regulations have been dogged by criticism from lawyers, academics and commentators, who have, inter alia, labelled the IPR Act ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘unworkable’ (Rens, 2009) and queried whether the IPR Regulations are a ‘death knell for open science in South Africa’ (Gray, 2009). This review explores critical issues that recipients of public finance for research and development, including academics, researchers and universities, are confronted with, arising from the IPR Act. The issue is raised regarding the compatibility of the IPR Act and draft regulations with South Africa’s position as a developing country. The review argues that, while the Act has many flaws and may require review, there is an opportunity for the regulations to address some of the identified weaknesses.
Chetty, P. (2010). Legislative review: Review of IPR Act and Regulations: Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, No 51 of 2008, Republic of South Africa. The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC), 10, 78-83. https://doi.org/10.23962/10539/19774