Public health and examination in South Africa

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Expanding on his article in the previous issue of Patent Lawyer, Pieter Visagie looks at the impact that public interest, with reference to public health in particular, has on deciding on the question of implementing substantive patent examination in South Africa.

In the previous issue, we examined some general influences on deciding whether or not to implement substantive patent examination in South Africa. The influences discussed in that issue apply, generally speaking, universally across the majority of sectors of industry in South Africa. What should also be borne in mind, however, in assessing the question of whether or not to implement substantive examination, is that we are confronted in South Africa, as in many other countries, with some sectors of industry being significantly more developed than others, in being more active in and, in remaining competitive, relying more extensively on technological development, whether such technology is developed locally or abroad. Some sectors  also have a much greater impact on public interest than others.

It is therefore argued that for different sectors of industry there may be different answers to the question of whether or not to implement substantive patent examination, which makes it difficult to take a decision on whether or not broad-based substantive examination must be implemented, whilst avoiding a negative impact on the patenting/technology development trends in some less active sectors. Request a free trial to read more.