Intellectual property right protection in South Africa compared to other developing countries with particular reference to the replacement parts market.
When one purchases an item, whether it is food, appliance, pharmaceutical, or automotive related, one has certain expectations concerning the item. When these expectations are not met, one seeks certain recourse against the manufacturer concerned. Imagine the consumer's confusion when he is told by the manufacturer that they are not responsible for the expectations not being met as the item was not made by them but instead is a "grey' or counterfeit product. The average consumer is not aware that South Africa, as well as most other countries around the world has a major problem regarding "grey" or counterfeit product entering the market. This practice is an infringement of the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner. It is illegal, and like all illegal activities there is no control regarding quality, so the consumer is not aware of the risks faced in purchasing from such sources. This dissertation seeks to answer the key research question which is: How do the levels of Intellectual property right protection in South Africa compare to other developing nations with particular reference to the replacement parts market. And how can these levels of protection be improved. This will be done by explaining what intellectual property rights are, what they mean, and why they should be protected. I also discuss some arguments for and against the protection of intellectual property rights. I will discuss some of the organizations that protect intellectual property rights, as well as some of the implications of the lack of protection. The key research question in this dissertation is how the level of intellectual property right protection in South Africa compares to other developing nations. In order to help answering this key question, I will discuss six basic questions: 1. Is pressure being exerted by developed nations in order to improve levels of intellectual property right protection? 2. What are the general levels of intellectual property law enforcement? 3. What resources are available for enforcement of intellectual property rights? 4. How do the people perceive intellectual property crime? 5. How "user friendly" is the intellectual property rights protection system? 6. What are the levels of involvement of organized crime in intellectual property rights infringements? In closing I will provide some recommendations as to how South Africa could easily and economically move away from being seen as a developing nation from an intellectual property perspective, to being seen as a first world country.