Total Overall Score 37.28% +0.67% from previous year
Total Overall Ranking 45/55

Key Areas of Strength

  • 2021 Cyber Crime Act strengthens potential criminal sanctions for the misappropriation and illicit accessing of trade secrets and confidential information
  • Basic IP framework in place
  • Relatively low level of software piracy—32%—compared to other African economies

Key Areas of Weakness

  • Growing emphasis on localization and local content requirements in economic and industrial policy—intensified in 2020
  • IP Policy Phase I does not fundamentally address South Africa’s gaps in IP protection—focus is not on innovation and development of new IP in South Africa but of use of existing developed IP through compulsory licenses, parallel imports, and restricting patentability of pharmaceuticals
  • Proposed copyright amendments create uncertainty for rightsholders through expansive “fair use” definitions
  • Major gaps in laws and enforcement across all categories of the Index

Score Breakdown

Patents, Related Rights, and Limitations
2 Score
(out of 9)
Breakdown
1
Patent term of protection
1
2
Patentability requirements
0
3
Patentability of computer-implemented inventions (CIIs)
0
4
Plant variety protection, term of protection
1
5
Pharmaceutical-related patent enforcement and resolution mechanism
0
6
Legislative criteria and active use of compulsory licensing of patented products and technologies
0
7
Patent term restoration for pharmaceutical products
0
8
Membership in Patent Prosecution Highways (PPHs)
0
9
Patent opposition
0
Copyrights, Related Rights, and Limitations
2.53 Score
(out of 7)
Breakdown
10
Copyright (and related rights) term of protection
0.53
11
Legal measures which provide necessary exclusive rights that prevent infringement of copyrights and related rights (including Web hosting, streaming, and linking)
0.5
12
Expeditious disabling of infringing content online
0
13
Availability of frameworks that promote cooperative action against online piracy
0.5
14
Scope of limitations and exceptions to copyrights and related rights
0.25
15
Digital rights management (DRM) legislation
0.5
16
Clear implementation of policies and guidelines requiring that any proprietary software used on government ICT systems should be licensed software
0.25
Trademarks, Related Rights, and Limitations
2.25 Score
(out of 4)
Breakdown
17
Trademarks term of protection (renewal periods)
1
18
Protection of well-known marks
0.5
19
Legal measures available that provide necessary exclusive rights to redress unauthorized uses of trademarks
0.5
20
Availability of frameworks that promote cooperative private action against online sale of counterfeit goods
0.25
Design Rights, Related Rights, and Limitations
0.75 Score
(out of 2)
Breakdown
21
Industrial Design Term of Protection
0.5
22
Legal measures available that provide necessary exclusive rights to redress unauthorized use of industrial design rights
0.25
Trade Secrets and the Protection of Confidential Information
1 Score
(out of 3)
Breakdown
23
Protection of trade secrets (civil provisions)
0.5
24
Protection of trade secrets (criminal sanctions)
0.5
25
Regulatory data protection (RDP) term
0
Commercialization of IP Assets and Market Access
3.17 Score
(out of 6)
Breakdown
26
Barriers to market access
0.5
27
Barriers to technology transfer
0.5
28
Registration and disclosure requirements of licensing deals
0.75
29
Direct government intervention in setting licensing terms
0.25
30
IP as an economic asset
0.5
31
Tax incentives for the creation of IP assets
0.67
Enforcement
2.94 Score
(out of 7)
Breakdown
32
Physical counterfeiting rates
0.51
33
Software piracy rates
0.68
34
Civil and procedural remedies
0.5
35
Pre-established damages and/or mechanisms for determining the amount of damages
0.25
36
Criminal standards including minimum imprisonment and minimum fines
0.5
37
Effective border measures
0.5
38
Transparency and public reporting by customs authorities of trade-related IP-infringement
0
Systemic Efficiency
2.5 Score
(out of 5)
Breakdown
39
Coordination of IP rights enforcement efforts
0.25
40
Consultation with stakeholders during IP policy formation
0.75
41
Educational campaigns and awareness raising
0.75
42
Targeted Incentives for the creation and use of IP assets for SMEs
0.25
43
IP-intensive industries, national economic impact analysis
0.5
Membership and Ratification of International Treaties
1.5 Score
(out of 7)
Breakdown
44
WIPO Internet Treaties
0.5
45
Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks and Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
0
46
Patent Law Treaty and Patent Cooperation Treaty
0.5
47
Membership of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, act of 1991
0
48
Membership of the Convention on Cybercrime, 2001
0.5
49
The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
0
50
At least one free trade agreement (FTA) with substantive and/or specific IP provisions such as chapters on IP and separate provisions on IP rights provided it was signed after WTO/TRIPS membership
0