The Africa IP SME Helpdesk is a first-line intellectual property (IP) service providing free-of-charge support for European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate them to handle transnational business in Africa. The Helpdesk, managed by EUIPO, aims to strengthen the awareness of African and European SMEs and productive sectors on the importance and value of IP in business transactions between the EU and Africa.
Its mission is to develop structured intelligence on IP landscapes in cooperation with the network of IP lawyers practicing in various African countries and disseminate it in a structured format in the form of training course, online resources, and helpline services.
The Helpdesk has recently introduced the first Manual for Geographical Indications in Africa. Over the last 20 years, Geographical Indications (GIs) have emerged as a global phenomenon, generating growing interest among producers, consumers, scholars and policymakers.