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Cape Town - The DA will present its Traditional Knowledge Private Member's Bill to Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee on Friday for consideration, the party said.
“The DA’s (bill) has received an unprecedented level of support through public submissions on it,” Democratic Alliance MP Wilmot James said in a statement on Thursday.
“The bill seeks to protect South African traditional knowledge according to its own independent set of rules... rather than by amending existing IP (intellectual property) laws and trying to fit the traditional knowledge into the laws regulating copyright and trademarks.”
Wilmot said the DA would be joined by academic leaders in the field of intellectual property law to present the merits of the bill.
The trade and industry department (DTI) has submitted its draft National Policy on Intellectual Property for public comment.
Thursday is the last day for this.
It will affect various industries including mining, agriculture, broadcasting, music, and public health. It seeks to amend the protection, copyright, trade marks and designs acts by including provisions which aim to recognise and protect traditional knowledge.
Wilmot said the DA's bill was more “desirable” to the approach followed by the department's bill.
“The truth is that the DA’s bill will offer a much greater level of national and international protection to traditional knowledge and is in line with international best practice,” he said.
“Experts in IP law have warned that the DTI's 1/8bill 3/8 is an inferior piece of legislation that will fail to achieve its objectives or be effectively administered in practice.”
Wilmot said the Traditional Knowledge Bill would address the flaws of the draft National Policy on Intellectual Property.