Session 6: Local Initiatives, Coordination of Cross-Border IP Enforcement Measures, and International Support Measures Available in Africa

Includes a Live Event on 04/01/2021 at 8:00 AM (EDT)

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The protection and enforcement of IP rights in Africa are rapidly evolving with both locally and internationally driven initiatives that are helping to increase awareness as to the importance and benefits of IP rights in Africa. 

In this session, speakers will discuss: 

  • Local initiatives to reinforce understanding of IP rights;
  • The role of customs in Africa and the support provided by the World Customs Organization; 
  • The role played by INTERPOL in Africa; and
  • Initiatives put in place by international organizations and associations such as INTA and the USPTO in Africa. 

Maurice Emiola Adefalou

Technical Officer, Compliance

World Customs Organization (Belgium)

Prior to joining the Word Customs Organisation, Maurice Emiola had a 13-year career in various positions at Benin Customs, including heading up the rapid intervention service, also known as the “mobile brigade,” with responsibility for the Atlantic and coastline, and was the spokesperson for Benin Customs administration, just prior to his departure from Benin Customs.

In September 2016, Maurice Emiola relocated to WCO headquarters in Brussels and joined the team responsible for the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Health and Safety Programme in the Enforcement and Compliance Sub-Directorate.

In 2018, he held the position of Director, Policy and International Relations Director, Directorate General of Customs and Indirect Taxes, Benin.

Today, Maurice Emiola holds the position of Technical Officer, IPR, and health and safety programme manager in Compliance sub directorate in WCO.

He has participated in several WCO operations against illicit medicines, such as ACIM and Mirage. He is now the main coordinator of the STOP Operation, the WCO immediate response against illicit trafficking of medicines, vaccines and medical supplies linked to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Holly B. Lance

Attorney Advisor, Office of Policy and International Affairs

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (USA)

Holly B. Lance is an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  As a member of the Enforcement team, Ms. Lance provides technical advice, analysis, and expertise on domestic and global intellectual property enforcement issues. Ms. Lance’s portfolio is Sub-Saharan Africa, and she promotes and advocates for improved protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the region through capacity building and technical assistance programs.  

Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Lance was in private practice, where she focused on trademark, copyright and internet law issues, including counseling, trademark and copyright prosecution, enforcement and litigation.

Ms. Lance holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Cultural Anthropology and Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.  She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Caroline Naude


INTERPOL NCB (South Africa)

Darren Olivier

Afro-IP, and Adams & Adams (South Africa)

Darren Olivier has over 20 years of experience in brand protection and intellectual property commercialization. He is an IP adviser to the Zulu royal family and sits on the editorial board of the University of Oxford’s Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice. He also writes as Afro Leo on the Afro-IP blog, which he founded. He is a fellow of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law and dual qualified South African and English solicitor and is a member of INTA. He holds a B.Com LLB.

Myrtha Hurtado Rivas

Novartis International AG (Switzerland)

Myrtha Hurtado Rivas joined Novartis International AG in 2016 to lead the trademark, domain name and copyright function across all Novartis divisions, i.e. Sandoz, Novartis Pharma and Novartis Oncology, globally. Her breadth of experience in intellectual property comes from an extensive and diverse education; time spent at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in Bern, five years at Novartis Pharma and almost 5 years at Sandoz. She has particular expertise in trademark, design, copyright, anti-counterfeiting and domain name law, international business law and the pharmaceutical industry, including defense and enforcement in these areas.

She is also the founder and executive producer of Leaderching, a weekly podcast in Spanish and English which covers topics around leadership and diversity.
Myrtha is involved in various IP associations, in particular she is the Chair for the INTA Anti-Counterfeiting Committee for the term 2020-2021 and the Chair of the ECTA WIPO-Link Committee. 

As she speaks German, French, English, Italian and Spanish fluently, her capacity to understand the nuances of global business is a great asset for Novartis. Her current appointment at Novartis has provided her with the opportunity to oversee the trademark portfolio of one of the pharmaceutical industry’s leading players, as well as to contribute to policymaking.

Myrtha holds an Executive Master of Business Law-HSG from the University of St Gallen, a Master of Advanced International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and University of Vienna and a bilingual law degree from the University of Fribourg.

Her Peruvian heritage provides a final layer to an IP professional who truly encapsulates what it means to be a global citizen.

Vanessa Ferguson (Moderator)


Ferguson Attorneys (South Africa)

Vanessa is the founder of FERGUSON ATTORNEYS a South African Intellectual Property and Anti-Counterfeiting specialist law firm. 

For more than two decades, Vanessa has been assisting clients from all industries and areas in respect of both traditional and non-traditional IP protection and enforcement, including anti-counterfeiting measures, both in South Africa as well as key African territories.

Vanessa furthermore holds the position of Immediate President of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property (SAIIPL) – 2019-2020, member of Council, as well as the Anti-Counterfeiting and Education committees.  Vanessa serves as a member of the INTA (International Trade Mark Association) Middle East & Africa Anti-Counterfeiting Committee.

She is the co-author with Marius Schneider of the book “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Africa”, published by Oxford University Press in May 2020. 

With a strong passion and belief in education and capacity building, Vanessa works closely with government bodies and industries in South Africa and is actively involved in the training programs for law enforcement, customs and other role players in anti-counterfeiting and intellectual property enforcement measures. 

Marius Schneider (Moderator)

Founder and Director

IPvocate Africa (Mauritius)

Marius is the founder and director of IPvocate Africa, a law firm focusing on the protection, management, and enforcement of IP rights all over Africa. He assists clients, including multinationals from Europe and North America, in setting up and enforcing their IP strategy across Africa.

Marius is the co-author with Vanessa Ferguson of the 2020 Oxford University Press (OUP) publication ‘Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Africa’, the first book discussing intellectual property rights enforcement in all 54 African countries. He is the co-editor of the OUP publication ‘Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights through Border Measures – Law and Practice in the EU’ (third edition in progress) and a Consulting Editor of the OUP Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice.

He is a lawyer at the Brussels bar and is registered as a Legal Adviser in Mauritius. He serves on the INTA Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, the EUIPO Observatory and the ECTA Anti-Counterfeiting Committee. Marius works in English, French, German and Dutch.

INTA will apply for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for the whole series and individual sessions. Total CLE credits available will vary from state to state. For more information, please email:


Session 6: Local Initiatives, Coordination of Cross-Border IP Enforcement Measures, and International Support Measures Available in Africa
04/01/2021 at 8:00 AM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
04/01/2021 at 8:00 AM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
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