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A guide to patents in Africa

By Spoor & Fisher

In the past few years business in Africa has been booming. Owners of intellectual property rights generally adopt a medium to long-term view and therefore patent protection in Africa is an important factor for the increasing number of businesses looking to Africa's long-term growth prospects.

Africa is replete with opportunities for business. The world's second-largest continent, it covers approximately 12 million square miles – about one-fifth of the earth's land surface. It has 54 independent countries and a population of more than one billion people.

In 2011, The Economist and the IMF released statistics showing that from 2001 to 2010, six of the top 10 fastest-growing economies were in Africa, and it is...

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