Hinders Local Inventors from Protecting their Intellectual Property

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Adedayo Akinwale and Palvin Namero in Abuja

The federal government through the Trademark and Designs Registry has said lack of knowledge of what a patent or industry right is was hindering local inventors from filing for patent rights for their inventions and protecting their intellectual property.

The Registrar, Mrs. Stella Ezenduka, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the 2018 edition of the African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property organised by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

Ezenduka, who was represented by the Assistant Chief Registrar, Ms. Jane Igwe, revealed that in 2017, the registry had a remarkable number of patents and design filings, adding that 86 percent of these were from foreign inventors, while local inventors accounted for only 14 percent.

She noted that one factor the registry has identified as hindering the number of inventions filed was ignorance.

Ezenduka stressed: “Most of the grassroots inventors have little or no knowledge of what a patent or industry right is or how it could benefit them economically and socially.”

He said the registry has therefore decided to foster effective collaboration with key agencies that are critical to intellectual property regime in Nigeria in order into enlighten and pass the message of intellectual property to the grassroots inventors and as such, bring their invention to the limelight.

The registrar stated: “As a registry, we are determined to see an increase in the number of local filings of patents for mention and their accompanying industrial design.

“I am delighted to inform you that in 2018, we have witnessed a 12 percent growth in the number of local filings in the registry. In 2019, we have to see this percentage grow to 50 percent.”

Also, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, noted that intellectual property culture creates a veritable platform for the acquisition of technical skills as well as adding value to local raw materials.

He stated that in today’s knowledge-based economy and globalised business environment, absorption of new technology has become a vital component for companies to survive through maintaining their competitive position in the market place.