2020 · Freedom of Expression · Human Rights · Intellectual Property · Trademark Law · Trademarks

‘Immoral’ Trademarks and Freedom of Expression: The EU and the USA Compared

There is a prohibition on the registration of ‘trade marks which are contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality’ in the European Union (see Article 7(1)(f) of the Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 on the European Union trade mark). Until as recently… Continue reading ‘Immoral’ Trademarks and Freedom of Expression: The EU and the USA Compared

2020 · Human Rights · Intellectual Property · IP Policy

Territoriality, Tobacco, Trademarks, and the TRIPS Agreement

Towards the end of last year, I was invited by the editorial board of the National Law School of India Review (NLSIR) to make a contribution to NLSIR Online. I chose to write a short piece on the 2018 decision of the WTO Panel in the Australian Plain Packaging¬†case and its implications for the principle… Continue reading Territoriality, Tobacco, Trademarks, and the TRIPS Agreement

2019 · Human Rights · Intellectual Property · IP Policy

The Harmonization of IP Law in Africa: A Human Rights Perspective

There is a trend towards legal harmonization in Africa. Or so it seems. Only time will tell how the current events and developments will eventually play out. This trend towards harmonization is quite noticeable in the field of intellectual property law. In recent years, there have been two key initiatives aimed at the harmonization of… Continue reading The Harmonization of IP Law in Africa: A Human Rights Perspective

Human Rights · Intellectual Property · IP Policy

South Africa’s New IP Policy: A Human Rights Perspective

As you may already be aware, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry has recently published the ‘Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa Phase 1 2018‘ i.e. a new IP policy document. I believe that this document will be subject to critical analysis by other commentators in the coming weeks/months. In this… Continue reading South Africa’s New IP Policy: A Human Rights Perspective

Business and Human Rights · Human Rights

Is a Treaty on Business and Human Rights Logically & Politically Plausible?

In October 2015, I blogged about the proposed binding treaty on business and human rights and in that post I questioned the rationale behind the proposed treaty. Well, it appears that the proponents of the proposed treaty are not about to give up any time soon. The third session of the Intergovernmental Working Group that… Continue reading Is a Treaty on Business and Human Rights Logically & Politically Plausible?

Human Rights

There is No Human Right to Patent Protection

There is no human right to patent protection. Or as the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, aptly puts it in her recent report, ‘There is no human right to patent protection under article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.’ It is hoped that this recent… Continue reading There is No Human Right to Patent Protection