Plans are afoot to relax South Africa’s stringent intellectual property (IP) exchange laws – something that local companies, especially the growing technology sector, were grappling with.
According to law firm Webber Wentzel, policy statements in National Treasury’s 2020 Budget Review published on 26 February indicate a clear and welcome intention from government to significantly relax these controls. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) currently administers restrictive export controls in respect of SA-owned IP.
Webber Wentzel says these controls, which require South African residents to get approval for transfers and licences of IP to non-residents, have hindered and discouraged cross-border transactions involving South African IP. This, in turn, has restricted the ability of South African residents to maximise the potential of their intellectual creations, it notes.
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