World Intellectual Property Day – Supporting inclusive innovation in Africa

Published Date: April 26, 2023

On 26 April 2023, Adams & Adams joins the global intellectual property (IP) community in celebrating World IP Day. This special day, designated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), aims to increase awareness and understanding of the role IP plays in driving innovation and creativity, and consequently economic growth.

This year’s theme is Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity, which celebrates innovative, creative and enterprising women.

WIPO data released in March 2023 indicates that only 16.2% of inventors named in international patent applications in 2022 were women. Clearly more needs to be done to break the barriers preventing women from becoming equal participants in the IP ecosystem.

As the largest IP law firm in Africa, we are proud of our inclusive and diverse composition. The firm’s first ever female chairperson, Kelly Thompson, was appointed in 2021. She is one of 29 female partners who comprise 43% of the partnership. Several of the firm’s professionals have been acknowledged for advancing diversity and equality in the IP field, and we have consistently been recognised in the annual World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) Diversity list.

As drivers of change in the legal landscape, our experts offer a full spectrum of IP services (filing, prosecution, searching, recordals, renewals, commercial licensing and franchising, and litigation, including anti-counterfeiting) across the African continent. Our in-depth expertise enables us to take on the most complex IP cases for clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 companies, across multiple industries.

We enjoy the top share of trade mark and design filings in South Africa. This reflects our commitment to delivering service excellence and advancing innovation and creativity.

We are also actively involved in the development and formulation of IP policies and legislation in African countries. This includes membership to the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) and African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Working Groups, and making regular submissions to Parliament in South Africa. We are often called upon to review and comment on proposed new IP legislation across the continent.

We continue to enjoy widespread recognition among the leading global IP directories for our service excellence and the depth of our IP expertise.

We believe that harnessing and protecting creativity and innovation in Africa can lead to sustainable socio-economic development for all. With our strong leadership position and expansive footprint across the continent, we continuously promote the importance of IP. In doing so, we strive to place inclusiveness front and centre of all our engagements.

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