21 July 2020Marco Vatta

Why is South Africa not interested in compulsory licences?

Under the South African Patents Act 57 of 1978, the South African government is able to acquire or make use of a patent. However, the government has never made use of these provisions in order to free itself from the limited monopoly granted to a patentee, despite the challenges the country has faced in the area of medicine such as during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the early 2000s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic accelerated. In 2018, there were approximately  7.7 million people now living with the virus in the country.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

23 November 2022   With a similar time zone to Europe and a skilled workforce, outsourcing IP work to South Africa offers value for money, argues Darren Olivier of Adams & Adams.
23 December 2022   As the African country becomes known as a hotspot for fake goods, its authorities are taking steps to tackle the problem. Diana Pereira and Filipa Meneses of Inventa report.
12 January 2023   The country's IP Policy is a key part of the its transition to a knowledge-based economy, explain Sofia Araújo and Inês Monteiro Alves of Inventa.