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 hindering local inventors from filing for patent rights for their inventions and protecting their intellectual property (IP).

The Registrar, Trademark and Designs Registry, Mrs. Stella Ezenduka, disclosed this in Abuja during the recently held 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, and that 86 per cent of these were from foreign inventors, while local inventors accounted for only 14 per cent.

She noted that one factors the registry has identified as hindering the number of inventions filed was ignorance.
According to Ezenduka “most of the grassroots inventors have little or no knowledge of what a patent or industry right is, or how it could be benefit them economically and even 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 grassroot 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 this year 2018 we have witnessed a 12 per cent growth in the number of local filings in the registry. In 2019, we have hope to see this percentage grow to 50 per cent,” she said.

Also, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said intellectual property culture would create a veritable platform for the acquisition of technical skills and add value to local raw materials.

He noted 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.