The Vision of the African IP Trust: An Umbrella of Protection

The African IP Trust will function as a supporting lobby for groups of African producers, who have organized themselves as stakeholders of a distinctive product through Light Years IP. The stakeholders range from coffee farmers to women shea butter producers of northern Uganda, and the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania. These groups who seek the African IP Trust lobbying intervention have in common an interest in securing not only wider spread respect for their Intellectual Property, but are in the process of enacting IP business strategies that should result in improved income and increased security of that income.

The African IP Trust will become a known and respected entity and earn a reputation of respect from businesses in Europe, the U.S. and other developed countries.

Ultimately, as the AIPT repeatedly achieves successful outcomes of its advocacy, the backing of the AIPT for an African stakeholder group should be sufficient leverage to reduce the opposition and reduce misuse of African IP rights. As more positive outcomes are achieved, the AIPT can then extend its protection, like an umbrella, over the rights of a larger number of low-income rights owners and producers.

If requested, the AIPT will work with stakeholders to assess the potential harm to their position caused by opposition from businesses in the supply chain of a distinctive product. On request, the AIPT will approach the business, advocating collaboration with the African stakeholders. In the case of non-cooperation by such foreign businesses, the advocates of AIPT will mobilize a wider support group to act individually and collectively to influence on these businesses.

AIPT operates as a largely virtual network of powerful individuals who can influence individually and collectively the decisions of corporations in the United States, Europe or other developed countries.

The effectiveness of the AIPT emerges from its experience in negotiations and its connections and stature enabling the AIPT to respond strategically on a case-by-case basis. The flexibility of this response enables the AIPT to assist low- income African stakeholders to overcome potential opposition from high-income business partners.