After progressing through several drafts ( e.g. 2012 and 2013), the AU adopted the final PAIPO statute on 31 January 2016. There has already been a lot of commentary on PAIPO and its draft statutes.* This post merely seeks to highlight the differences between the 2012 and 2013 drafts and the 2016 final statute in tabular format (see below).The most striking changes are to the tenor of the preamble, the characterisation of PAIPO as a specialised AU agency, its organs, the move from prohibiting to permitting reservations and the new provisions added to the final statute (arts 18, 21, 22, 23, 27 and 30). The Preamble now expressly refers to ‘the cultural and socio-economic development of Africa’; recognises ‘international human rights laws and international agreements on sustainable development and the protection of indigenous knowledge’ and refers to the WIPO Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s Agenda 2063. This hopefully signals a more development friendly orientation.
* for example see C Ncube Intellectual Property Policy, Law and Administration in Africa: Exploring Continental and Sub-regional Co-operation (2015) 126 – 139;Y Mupangavanhu ‘African Union Rising to the Need for Continental IP Protection? The Establishment of the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization’ (2015) 59 Journal of African Law 1–24;C Ncube & E Laltaika E. ‘A new intellectual property organization for Africa?’ (2013) 8(2) Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 114-117; Karjiker, S., 2012. ‘Sizing up the ‘ill-conceived PAIPO Draft Statute‘ 6 November 2012. IP Watch Insider Views’.