I am a Professor and the DST/NRF SARChI Research Chair in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT). I am also affiliated with the Intellectual Property Unit . I served as Head of the Department of Commercial Law from 2014 – 2016 and as Deputy Dean, Postgraduate Studies in 2017 and Jan – June 2019. I am currently serving as Head of the Department of Commercial Law for another one year term, ending December 2022. I a member of the African Policy, Research & Advisory Group on STI, a member of the Advisory Board of the African Network of International Economic Law (AfIELN) and of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). I also serve on the the AU Scientific Technical Research Commission ASRIC Taskforce on IP Protection in Joint Research and Collaboration During Outbreaks. I am a member of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) trade and industrial development advisory council.
I have served as an expert for various institutions including the African Union, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the AfCFTA Secretariat and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
I hold a PhD in IP Law from the University of Cape Town, an LLM from the University of Cambridge and an LLB from the University of Zimbabwe. Before joining UCT in 2005, I lectured at the University of Limpopo (formerly University of the North) and the University of Zimbabwe. Prior to that, I practiced briefly as an attorney at Coghlan, Welsh & Guest.
For more about my academic career, visit my UCT webpage and read this snapshot. At UCT, I currently teach Electronic Law and Intellectual Property (IP) Law at postgraduate level. I also supervise masters and PhD candidates, primarily in IP law, but also in other areas of commercial law. I am involved in research projects that focus on open development, access to knowledge and the promotion of a balanced approach to IP Law. I am an NRF rated researcher.
Some of my teaching materials and conference presentations are available on slideshare. I also present a module on SMEs, Innovation and IP on the Masters Degree in Intellectual Property (MIP) jointly offered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and Africa University (AU).
I am a member of various academic associations such as the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP), the South African Association of Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology Law Teachers and Researchers (AIPLITL) and the Society of Law Teachers of Southern Africa (SLTSA).I am affiliated with the University of Ottawa as an Associate Member, Centre for Law, Technology and Society.
I work primarily in the area of IP law and have a special interest in how IP law and policy can be best calibrated to achieve national socio-economic goals in African states. These considerations centre on the promotion of innovation in prevalent African contexts, such as the informal sector. My publications to date have considered copyright and patent laws specifically in the light of access imperatives grounded in the constitutional protection of fundamental and socio-economic rights. For instance, I have recently worked on how copyright impacts publication in neglected languages for under-served markets and access to works by persons with cognitive, aural, physical and other disabilities. My other key focus area is the protection of indigenous knowledge, on which I have authored book chapters and co-edited a volume, Indigenous Knowledge & Intellectual Property. African regional integration efforts are also a critical element of my study of how IP law and policy are developing in Africa. This is the subject of Intellectual Property Policy, Law and Administration in Africa: Exploring Continental and Sub-regional Co-operation (2016, Routledge) and Science, Technology & Innovation and Intellectual Property: Leveraging Openness for Sustainable Development in Africa (2021, Juta) [open access download / hard copy purchase]