ARIPO received a special award from the Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) for being able to complete the construction of its headquarters extension within the planned time.
The award presented at the PMZ's 8th Annual Project Managers Dinner on June 29, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Harare recognizes organizations or project managers able to complete huge projects as planned.
The Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Fernando dos Santos received the award that was presented by the Zimbabwe's Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Honourable Professor Amon Murwira.
This is the second time ARIPO has been recognized and awarded in relation to the new ARIPO headquarters building in a span of seven months. On December 18, 2017, ARIPO was awarded as the best property developed under commercial projects category in 2017 at the Zimbabwe Project Management Awards 2017 organized by the Chartered Institute of Project Managers Zimbabwe.
The ARIPO new building was inaugurated in December 2016.
The Zambian Government has transferred the administration of Copyright and Related Rights from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. This means that both Industrial Property and Copyright and Related Rights will be administered by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
Arising from the changes mentioned above, all correspondence should now be addressed to PACRA, which is now in charge of administering Intellectual Property in Zambia.
PACRA address is:
PACRA House, Haile Selassie Avenue, Longacres P.O. Box 32020 Lusaka Zambia.
The fourth IP Roving Seminar for Academic and Research Institutions by ARIPO was held at the University of Botswana from July 5 to 6, 2018. The seminar hosted by the University of Botswana and organized by ARIPO together with the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA).
The seminar was officially opened by CIPA Registrar General, Mr. Conductor Paul Masena, on behalf of the Republic of Botswana. Mr. Masena pointed out that the theme of the seminar, “Fostering creativity and Innovation for Economic Growth and Development in Africa,” was relevant to a developing economy such as Botswana as the country heavily relied on natural resources especially in the mining sector.
“Diamonds are not forever. Botswana has seen the need to transform from a resource based economy to a knowledge based one anchored on innovation. Innovation is widely recognized as a driver for economic transformation, and this recognition is featured in several of Botswana’s national development policies and strategies,” noted Mr. Masena.
He added that the seminar came at an opportune time for Botswana as the country needs to find innovative ways to diversify her economy away from diamonds. In fact, the institutions targeted at the seminar play a crucial role and potential to generate knowledge and innovative solutions to problems that can be transformed into products and services to diversify the economy.
At his welcoming remarks, the University of Botswana Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Norris, pointed out that research and innovations outputs are required to produce impact in communities, industries and for the diversification of the economy. The impact, in form of goods, services, policy development and implementation are expected from the knowledge generated at tertiary institutions and research centers with Tertiary institutions as epicenters of economic diversification.
The ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, said that Botswana was a country where IP was a vibrant topic with the efforts of the Botswana Innovation Hub, the Botswana Institute of Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI), Botswana Vaccine Institute, the Department of Agricultural Research, the Human Resource Development Council among others who were leading the country innovation ideas.
Mr. Dos Santos noted that Botswana, since joining the ARIPO Harare Protocol for the protection of patents, utility models and industrial designs, has received 6328 patents, 879 industrial designs and 63 utility models from the around the world through the ARIPO system. Under the Banjul Protocol on protection of marks, Botswana has so far received 2002 marks.
However, despite the good statistics from around the world designating Botswana, the contribution by Botswana universities and institutions has been minimal. The Botswana Institute of Technology and Innovation has only registered one patent, one industrial design and one trademark while the Botswana Technology Centre has only one patent. Mr. Dos Santos was optimistic that from the seminar that participants would appreciate the important role that IP protection plays in rewarding and promoting creativity and innovation.
A total of 81 participants attended the IP Roving Seminar.
A regional Training of Trainers Workshop on the Teaching of Intellectual Property (IP) In Police Colleges of the ARIPO Member States organized by ARIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) will be held at ARIPO headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe from the 2 to 3 July, 2018.
The United States (US) Department of Justice- US Embassy in Abuja Nigeria, the INTERPOL Regional Bureau for Southern Africa and the Head of Commercial Crime, Directorate for Priority Crime, Investigation in the South African Police Service, Major-General Alfred Khana will also participate.
The participants from the ARIPO Member States will receive two toolkits titled "Investigating and Prosecuting IP Crime: Training materials for Law Enforcement Authorities and Prosecutors", and "Investigating and Prosecuting IP Crime: Training Supplement."
The toolkits will serve as manuals for prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the ARIPO Members States, to assist in the prosecution of IP infringement. The manuals focus on counterfeiting and piracy based on the TRIPS obligations that member of the WTO to provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale (Article 61 TRIPS Agreement). The manuals can also be customized to be used in IP curricula's in Police colleges in the Member States.
Some of the issues envisaged in the manual include identification of essential elements of the relevant offences and the analysis of requirements for successful prosecution of IP crimes, boarder enforcement, jurisdiction in cross-border matters, mutual legal assistance, explanations and potential solutions for challenges and experiences being faced in the investigation of IP crime and tables of relevant charging provisions of 10 Jurisdiction's (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, United Republic of Tanzania- Mainland and Zanzibar, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
The original text of the manual was written by Hon. L.T.C. Harms, the former Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa. The text was revised and customized for use in ARIPO Member States by the WIPO Secretariat, in cooperation with the ARIPO Secretariat.
ARIPO held the third Intellectual Property Roving Seminar this year at the International University of Management (IUM) in Windhoek, Namibia from June 19 to 20, 2018. The Seminar on the theme, "Fostering Creativity and Innovation for the Economic Growth and Development in Africa" targeted Academic and Research Institutions in Namibia. It was organized by ARIPO and the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) and in collaboration with IUM.
Only 12 patents have been filed so far by a University in Namibia noted the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos in his remarks at the opening of the seminar. "This is the reason behind the organization of this seminar in Namibia, which is intended to enhance Intellectual Property awareness in Academic and Research Institutions with a view to promoting the creation, protection, and utilization of research results using intellectual property tools," he added.
The Seminar was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, Mr. Gabriel Sinimbo who made the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, Hon. Tjekero Tweya.
In his address, he noted that despite the expectation that IP is supposed to encourage and reward the innovation drivers in a country, if IP is not promoted and there is no political will, such expectations would fall flat.
According to the Permanent Secretary, IP Issues have gained significant importance in Namibia over the years and today IP reflects as a central part of Namibia's economic strategy. Namibia recently gazetted the Regulations of the Industrial Property Act, Act 1 of 2012 and will be taking effect in August 2018. This will assure compatibility of Namibia laws to the regional and international legal framework.
Namibia, through BIPA which is the National IP office, is also working on a new Copyrights Bill which is awaiting the second reading from the stakeholders. This Bill aims to expand the scope of copyright protection and to provide a stronger framework to fight piracy while creating a more conducive environment for investment in the digital industry.
Between 2016 to 2017, Namibia has seen a total of 3038 applications for Trade Marks, from that number a total of 924 were registered. Copyright applications were 204 of which 190 were accepted. The country received 64 applications for patents and industrial designs of which 37 were registered and granted. These figures exclude designations received through the Banjul Protocol and Madrid system for Trademarks, as well as designations through PCT & Harare and Hague & Harare for Patents.
Through the ARIPO system, at least 5217 patents, 794 industrial designs and 41 utility models from all over the World are enjoying protection in Namibia. Through the Banjul Protocol for the protection of marks 1087 marks are protected in the country.
In her welcoming remarks, the BIPA Acting CEO, Mrs. Selma Ambunda said that innovation can only flourish if fostered through investment in research and development (R&D). "According to the 2014/15 Research and Development survey conducted by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST), Namibia's Gross Expenditure on R&D stands at 0,34% of GDP. In the National Development Goal 5, it is articulated that we would like to reach at least 1% of GDP, which will, in the end, drive research, innovation, and technology output, of which IP is an inevitable end result," she said.
"I note with satisfaction that these efforts are beginning to bear fruit and that more and more researchers and students are routinely consulting BIPA for advice on IP issues before publishing their research results," noted Mrs. Ambunda.
Since 2017, ARIPO has partnered with National Intellectual Property Offices and Academic and Research Institutions in its member states to conduct seminars on IP. This year, two seminars have been held in Zimbabwe and Liberia. In 2016 they were held in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Swaziland and Rwanda. So far, there has been a total of 685 participants, 78 being from the session in Namibia.
ARIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have also been working together to develop Institutional Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy guidelines which lack in most Academic Institutions.
To address the critical need of IP experts in Africa, ARIPO and WIPO have also partnered with the Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe to offer a master's degree in Intellectual Property since 2008. To date, the program has graduated 296 students from 26 countries across Africa, and 16 of them are from Namibia.
The Symposium on Copyright and Related Rights organized by ARIPO is underway at the ARIPO Headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Annual Symposium being held for the second time from June 12-13, 2018 is on the theme, "Shaping the Copyright and Related Rights System in Africa."
The symposium was officially opened by the Zimbabwe Deputy Attorney General, Hon Kumbirai Hodzi. He said that intellectual property plays a very critical role in the protection and dissemination of knowledge and that the creative industries have assumed major economic significance and contributes to our economies significantly.
He noted that it was important that the second symposium take stock of the gains made since the first symposium in 2017. "Are we grappling with the same challenges or have we made progress? The issues of copyright and related rights in Africa need a concerted effort from everyone from copyright offices, collective management organizations (CMOs), academics, entrepreneurs and the victims such as artists among other players," he said.
"This year's topic is very essential and critical for Africa's," said the Intellectual Property Executive, Mr. John Kabare who read the opening statement on behalf of the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos.
He noted that the online digital era has continued to evolve at a staggering rate, with the traditional norms governing the world of Copyright and Related Rights. However, Africa has not fully engaged these new dynamics effectively. Generators of copyright and related rights are deriving minimum benefits from these digital opportunities. Even greater, are the challenges that CMOs are still facing in light of coordinated approach to managing online markets and effective enforcement.
"It is still our humble call to Governments that they put in place enabling legislations and regulations for the CMOs to function effectively," added Mr. Kabare.
The World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO) was represented by Ms Carole Creolla, Senior, Counsellor, Copyright Law Division and Copyright and Creative Industries Sector. In her address she pointed out the growing demand for creative content globally hence the need for laws that offer protection for creative work.
The symposium brings together heads of Copyright Offices and Collective Management Organizations from ARIPO Member States and observer states. Some of the key topics for discussions include how to harness the broadcasting industry in Africa, resale rights, the content industry in the digital environment, alternative dispute resolution of film and media disputes, the Accessible Book Consortium (ABC) and International Treaties. The symposium will also look at the implementation status of the African Agenda (Harare Strategic Plan) that was adopted in 2017 at the first Symposium.
Also in attendance is popular Nollywood actress Ms. Shan Walker George known for her film "All for Winnie" among others, Zimbabwean musician and Ambassador for environmental issues Mr. Dereck Mpofu and The Comic Pastor among other artists. The participants are from 20 African countries and from ARIPO cooperating partners including WIPO, The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) and International Publishers Association (IPA).