CGS research and services
Section 3 of the Geoscience Act no. 100 of 1993 (“the Act”) sets out some of the objects of the CGS as being “to undertake research in the field of geoscience and to furnish specialized geoscientific services.”
CGS intellectual property
The Act is very affirmative regarding the results of the research and the provision of services, to the extent that the Act sets out in subsection 24(1) that “…the rights in all discoveries and inventions and in all improvements in respect of processes, apparatus and machines…shall vest in the Council”.
Therefore, the CGS was established with the expectation that discoveries would be made, inventions developed, and improvements in existing processes, apparatus and machines would be achieved. These discoveries, inventions and improvements and all the information pertaining hereto are termed “intellectual property” or “IP”.
The IPR Act
The Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act 51 of 2008 (the IPR Act) came into effect on 2 August 2010. The purpose of the IPR Act is to provide for the effective utilisation of IP generated from publicly financed research and development for the benefit of the people of the Republic.
The CGS, therefore, has a duty to abide by the IPR Act, where public funds have been used in the development of IP.
The Office of Technology Transfer
The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) of the CGS was formed in June 2017. The OTT works with NIPMO (the National Intellectual Property Management Office) to satisfy the IPR Act’s requirements, provide IP management at the CGS and raise IP awareness within the CGS.
The OTT handles any matters or queries relating to IP affecting the CGS and must be directed thereto.