An LLM in Intellectual Property Law will be introduced in the Law Faculty of Stellenbosch University (SU) in 2013 following the establishment of the Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property (CIP) last year.
Dr Johann Rupert, Chancellor of SU and the Executive Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Richemont, endowed the funds for the Chair after the public launch of the HOPE Project in 2010.
Prof Owen Dean, considered South Africa’s foremost authority in the field, was appointed the first holder of the Chair. He was previously with legal firm Spoor & Fisher.
“Intellectual Property is increasingly being recognised as valuable in the business world. Brands and trademarks are worth billions. Around the world, universities are beefing up their capacity in this field. We want to be the custodians of Intellectual Property Law in SA,” he says.
The Chair is named after late Judge Anton Mostert, who in 1977 became one of the youngest appointments to the then Supreme Court. A year later he would lead a commission of inquiry into foreign exchange dealings and control. He defied warnings to disclose his findings, thereby exposing large-scale corruption in government circles, later known as the Information Scandal.
“Anton Mostert lived out his high moral values, despite the stress, denunciation and negative consequences for his career as a result of his disclosures,” Rupert said.
Dean agrees: “He did not hesitate to speak his mind on the law. It is this characteristic of his which serves as the credo of the CIP.”
The CIP is the first fully endowed chair at the University. It was funded to the amount of R1,5 million a year, with funding levels to be reconsidered in three-year cycles.
“Our new dedicated LLM has an emphasis on the digital environment. Intellectual Property Law is continuously facing new horizons. It has to evolve constantly to keep pace with new developments, such as the electronic media,” says Dean.
Two additional fulltime staff members have been appointed, and analyses posted on the Chair’s website, www.sun.ac.za/iplaw, are frequently quoted in the media.
Support HOPE: www.thehopeproject.co.za/staffsuccess
CAPTIONS (in order of pictures above):
Prof Owen Dean. (Picture: SUPPLIED)
Dr Johann Rupert. (Picture: SUPPLIED