Existing IP laws
Industrial Property Act, 2010 (in operation 30 Aug 2012)
Amendments being discussed in the Technical Working Group
The following amendments were noted in the TRIPS Action Plan agreed by the Botswana Government after the March 2013 workshop:
• Ensure that patent examiners develop stringent criteria for the application of s8 in the context of applications for secondary patents by developing operational guidelines.
• Amend the Regulations by providing for a section along the lines of s41 to cover the process for the filing of objections to applications for patents.
• Repeal Section 22(2) of the Act as it gives ministerial powers to interfere in the scientific examination of patent applications.
• Repeal s134 (4) which criminalizes patent infringements.
• Section 3 (a) of the Competition Act should be amended to create a more holistic approach to dealing with anti-competitive practices in the IPR system in general.
• Harmonize the IPR legislation with other relevant health sector laws e.g. drugs and medicines laws.
• Create training programmes to enable public health, trade, CSOs and IPR officials to better understand the legal and trade context of TRIPS flexibilities.
• Botswana should not agree to the harmonization of IPR laws in the context of the EFTA-SACU-FTA or any trade agreement that erodes the TRIPS flexibilities.
The above amendments are awaiting finalization in 2015 after the new CIPA office has become fully operational.