The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 28 of 2013 (IPLAA) was assented to by the President and published in the Government Gazette on 10 December 2013, marking the penultimate step in the implementation of IPLAA.

IPLAA is not yet in effect, and will only come into effect on a date to be fixed by the President. Although not clear, it is expected that it will come into effect in the first half of 2014.

This move came despite widespread opposition to IPLAA which amends the South African Performers Protection Act, Copyright Act, Trade Marks Act and Designs Act.

The aim of IPLAA is, inter alia, to provide for the recognition and protection of certain manifestations of indigenous knowledge as a species of intellectual property. It seeks to do this by amending the already existing intellectual property framework to provide for the protection of indigenous knowledge.

IPLAA will have far reaching consequences for the protection of intellectual property going forward and will require careful consideration by persons who wish to protect their IP in future.

Further updates on the content of IPLAA and its implementation will follow.