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Intellectual Property and Technology

In an era of digital transformation, our IP and technology lawyers combine in-country experience with the global skills and resources of one of the world’s biggest business law firms. 

DLA Piper is one of the most active law firms on the African continent. Our goal is to help commercial and public sector clients to protect valuable technologies, brands, products, data and services. 

Our breadth of resources mean we advise clients on all areas of IP and technology, delivering an integrated cross-border service. We are one of the most widely recognized providers of a full range of commercial, intellectual property, privacy, sourcing and technology law services, drawing on a global IP and technology practice of 500 dedicated lawyers worldwide. 

With deep experience in IP law, intellectual property rights (IPR), patent protection and other key areas such as commercial, technology transactions, data protection and privacy and security, our teams advise Africa-based and multinational clients that range from tech giants, pharmaceutical companies and established banks and financial institutions to governments, NGOs, agile R&D-intensive organizations, startups and scaleups. 

Local presence, global reach: we work in 20 African countries, providing an unrivalled local presence and insights backed by one of the world’s biggest business law firms. Our global Africa team comprises more than 200 lawyers in Johannesburg, Casablanca, London, New York, Paris, Dubai, Perth, Hong Kong and Beijing. 

Legal directories and industry worldwide recognize us as one of the leading firms in this field, combining multi-jurisdictional reach with local knowledge and experience. 

Key capabilities include: 

  • IP and IPR
  • technology transactions and strategic sourcing
  • patents and patent protection
  • strategic commercial advice
  • business transactions
  • strategic disputes
  • litigation-related (contentious matters)
  • data protection, privacy and security
  • cybersecurity
  • telecom 

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you to achieve your objectives.

Smart contracts and trust in Africa’s e-commerce revolution

The coming into effect and promulgation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has ushered in a new and exciting era for the continent. AfCFTA aims to enhance intra-African trade by providing a complete and mutually beneficial trade agreement among Member States. It covers goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy. On December 5, 2020, the African Union Assembly approved the start of trading under AfCFTA as of January 1, 2021.

The development of the digital economy: Competition regulation in Africa

Digital transformation is a driving force for innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth. The digital economy encompasses the economic and social activities that are boosted by platforms such as mobile and sensor networks, including e-commerce. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents an opportunity to boost growth, reduce poverty and expand economic inclusion in Africa.

Digitization: Facilitating the implementation of AfCFTA

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is an agreement among African Union (AU) Member States who have signed and ratified the agreement, to create a single liberalized African market. The combined African market (GDP) of the 55 Member States is valued at USD3.4 trillion with a population of 1.3 billion people, the majority of which are youths and women.

Expanding into Africa: Regulatory challenges for satellite broadband providers

Over the last several years Africa has been, and continues to be, touted as having multiple opportunities for the expansion of broadband and digital services. This, and the nature of the region geographically, has presented many opportunities for novel technologies to be used for the rollout of broadband to support digital services such as fixed wireless and satellite.

Aiscension: AI in the legal sector

The rise of technological developments has brought with it increased, and new forms of, risk. In today’s digital world, we are creating more data year on year. Data storage, ease of communications (including the use of email and chat), along with the ubiquity of photo and video sharing means that data volumes are increasing exponentially. New technologies pose new challenges and require new regulatory solutions. This backdrop makes it harder for businesses to monitor existing risks.