Who is CIPC?
The newly formed Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), herewith referred to as ‘the Commission’ was established through the amalgamation of the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO). The Commission is a juristic person, and as mandated by the Companies Act, 2008 (Act 71 of 2008), has jurisdiction throughout the Republic, is independent, and subject only to the Constitution and the law and any policy statement, directive or request issued to it by the Minister of Trade and Industry in terms of this Act. The Commission must be impartial and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice and must exercise the functions in the most cost-efficient and effective manner and in accordance with the values and principles mentioned in section 195 of the Constitution.
The process of forming a Commission was started in 2004 with the dti policy document titled: “South African Company Law for the 21st Century: Guidelines for Corporate Law Reform” (May 2004) with the aim of promoting “growth, employment, innovation, stability, good governance, confidence and international competitiveness.”
A strategy was developed for the Commission that seeks to assert the Commission as a credible, independent and transparent regulator, on par with the best in the world.
Main functions of the Commission:
- Registration of Companies, Co-operatives and Intellectual Property Rights (trade marks, patents, designs and copyright) and maintenance thereof
- Disclosure of Information on its business registers
- Promotion of education and awareness of Company and Intellectual Property Law
- Promotion of compliance with relevant legislation
- Efficient and effective enforcement of relevant legislation
- Monitoring compliance with and contraventions of financial reporting standards, and making recommendations thereto to Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC)
- Licensing of Business rescue practitioners
- Report, research and advise Minister on matters of national policy relating to company and intellectual property law