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It was recognised that the current patent system in South Africa needs substantial reform. It must be open and searchable by all. It is currently a ‘registration’ system that is harming innovation in South Africa. A system for ensuring that new innovation is patentable, including a search system prior to grant is crucial. Collaboration with other patent-granting authorities will be important to developing the South African System. The meeting therefore welcomed the input and advice of the Japanese colleagues at the seminar.
The mandate of Government is to improve the lives of its citizens. The exploitation of IP should be considered in the widest sense and firstly for the social good and not only in terms of financial and commercial exploitation.