The ARIPO National Roving Seminars under the theme “Fostering creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa has commenced today in Zanzibar, In the United Republic of Tanzania. The two-day seminar running from 17-18 July 2017 is being held at the Golden Tulip Hotel.

This is the first leg of the series of National Roving Seminars that ARIPO is conducting in the United Republic of Tanzania this week. The second leg will be in Dar es Salaam from 20 – 21 July 2017 at the New Africa Hotel.

The Zanzibar Roving Seminar was graced by the Guest of Honour, Honourable Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, Minister of Trade, Industry and Marketing who officially opened the meeting. Mrs Joyce Banya, The Representative of the Director General of the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO), Counsellor at the Africa Bureau, Mr. Yuji Nakayama, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Tanzania, The Principal Secretaries: Mr. Bakar Haji Bakar, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Marketing, Mr. Juma Ali Juma, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Abdulah Issa Mgongo, Representative of the Principal Secretary Presidents Office Constitution, Legal Affairs, Public Services and Good governance were also in attendance.

The Minister emphasised that “Our Government acknowledges and appreciate the friendly assistance of ARIPO and WIPO especially in the process of preparing our Intellectual Property Strategy/Policy, IP legal frameworks (the Industrial Property Act No. 4 of 2008 and its implementing regulations, the Copyright Act), development of IPAS System and the Cloves Branding Project” which is supported by the International Trading Centre (ITC).

"The Government has also established the Zanzibar Business and Property Registrations Agency (BPRA) with the mandate to administer industrial property laws in the country, the Copyright Society of Zanzibar (COSOZA) which deals with administrations of copyright issues as well as Collective Management Organisation and Plant Breeders Rights Institutions. All the three institutions are doing a good job," added Honourable Ambassador Ali.

According to the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, "the Rovong Seminars were devised to promote the use of IP in ARIPO member states. In the last three years, the initiative has covered 15 countries benefitting more than 2,500 partcipants."

Over 71 participants are in attendance including: Cultural Musical Club, Zanzibar Writers Association, Zanzibar Film Unit (Chama cha Wasanii Waigizaji Zanzibar), Zanzibar Flavour Unit, Zanzibar Broadcasting Commission, Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation, Zanzibar Cable TV, Zanzibar Food and Drugs Board, Kizimbani Agricultural Training Institute, Zanzibar State Trading Cooperation, Zanzibar Traditional Medicine Council, State University of Zanzibar, Karume Technical Collage, Zanzibar Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Agricultural Natural; Resources; Livestock and Fisheries, Zanzibar Department of Agriculture, Jumuiya ya Wakulima (JUWA), Plant Breeders Rights Unit Zanzibar, Zanzibar Technological and Business Incubator, Women’s Entrepreneurship Union (Umoja wa Wajasiriamali Wanawake), SMEs, Alsumeit University Zanzibar, Zanzibar University, Zanzibar Spice Producers, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) Zanzibar, Tanzania Zanzibar Organic Producers (TAZOP), Tanzania Revenue Authority Zanzibar, ZENJI FM Radio, Copyright Society of Zanzibar (COSOZA), Zanzibar Business Property Registration Agency (BPRA), Ministry of Trade, Industry and Marketing, Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (ZNCCIA), Baraza la Sanna Sensa ya Filamu na Utamaduni (BASSFU), NAD Ikhwan Safaa, Zanzibar Institute of Research and Public Policy (ZIRPP), .Zanzibar Business and Academic Consultancy (ZABACCO), Zanzibar Exporter Association (ZEXA), Zanzibar Clove Producers Organization (ZACPO).

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) in cooperation with the University of Zambia (UNZA) organized an Intellectual Property (IP) Roving Seminar for Academic and Research Institutions from 12 to 13 July 2017. The Seminar was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. The first seminar of this kind was organized for higher education institutions in Sierra Leone from 14 to 15 June 2017.

The objective of the Seminar was to enhance Intellectual Property awareness among researchers, academics, administrators, librarians, and interested members from other Academic and Research Institutions in Zambia with a view to promoting the creation, protection and utilization of research results using intellectual property tools for economic and technological development.

The seminar was officially opened by the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of the Republic of Zambia, Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe, who is also the current Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of ARIPO. In her opening statement, Hon. Mwanakatwe commended ARIPO for its Value and Growth Transformation Strategic Plan that recognises IP awareness and the building of relationships with academic and research institutions in Africa to utilise the IP system at both national and regional level. She indicated that such seminars provide a platform for sharing information, knowledge and experiences on IP-related matters which are fundamental for improving businesses.

The Seminar was attended by 17 institutions which included research and development institutions as well as academic institutions.

The WIPO Patent Drafting Course for Patent Agents from ARIPO Member States and Observer States will take place in September 2017 at the ARIPO Secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The training course, which has been organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization and the Japan Patent Office (JPO), will be held from 4-8 September 2017.

The Patent Agents will be invited from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Ten of the participants will be sponsored by WIPO. National Intellectual Property Offices will do the selection of the Patent Agents to attend.

A similar course was held at the ARIPO Secretariat from 7 September to 9 October 2015 that trained 23 Patent Agents.

A WIPO study noted the need for capacity-building in patent drafting in its Member States. The lack of patent drafters was been noted as a major hindrance on the ability of inventors in developing countries to use the IP system, and, thereby, to participate in the economic benefits of intellectual property.

The International Trademark Association (INTA) CEO, Mr. Etienne Sanz de Acedo visited the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on 26 June 2017 in his maiden visit to Zimbabwe and Africa.
 
According to Mr. de Acedo, “Africa has great potential. It is the second growing continent worldwide. However, with the growth comes bigger risk for companies and small and medium enterprises. There is need therefore to continue investing in the continent. INTA wants to be a global organization and wants to service African countries as part of its ‘African Rising Campaign’.
 
“INTA is paying more attention to Africa. We want to increase INTA’s membership in the continent. The advantage of membership is the chance to network with members from across the glode, access to database on trademarks and continuous education,” adds Mr. de Acedo.
 
INTA is the world’s largest brand owner association and undertakes advocacy work throughout the world to advance trademarks and brands. The Association’s member organization represents some 30,000 trademark professionals and includes brand owners from major corporations as well as small-medium-sized enterprises, law firms and not-profits.
 
So far, INTA has one permanent seat for a Board Member from Africa which is currently held by Mrs. Brenda Kahari who Senior Partner at BW Kahari based in Harare, Zimbabwe. According to INTA Africa Board Member, Mrs. Brenda Kahari, the CEO is on an exploratory in Zimbabwe to understand what happens on the ground.
 
This year marks 20 year relationship between INTA and ARIPO. When Zimbabwe joined the Banjul Protocol, following Lesotho and Swaziland, the Protocol on registration and administration of trademarks came into effect. Thereafter, ARIPO became a member of INTA to promote its system for registration, to network with law firms and corporations and to obtain valuable information in the field of trademarks. Representatives of INTA visited ARIPO at its offices on 4th Street and Samora Machel Avenue, Harare in 1997 as a familiarization tour of ARIPO as the regional system for trademarks.
 
In 1999, the INTA President, Jackie Leimer, addressed the ARIPO Council of Ministers meeting in Tanzania. A few years later a cooperative agreement was signed between the two organizations. The relationship between the organizations has strengthened over the years. 
 
There are today 10 Member States of ARIPO who are part of the Banjul regional system where owners of brands may obtain registration. 
 

The International Trademark Association (INTA) CEO, Mr. Etienne Sanz de Acedo will on Monday, 26 June 2017 at 0930 hours visit the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).  The CEO’s mission is to understand how to better serve and increase INTA membership in Africa as well as strengthen ties and cooperation with ARIPO, government departments, the Judiciary and academic institutions responsible for or who have a stake in the effective use of trademarks for development.

INTA is the global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Recently, INTA has been paying more attention to Africa. INTA CEO, Mr. De Acedo, says his priorities are “to becoming truly global” and “engaging as many constituencies as possible.” 

INTA undertakes advocacy work throughout the world to advance trademarks and offers educational programs and informational and legal resources of global interest.

At ARIPO, the CEO will meet with the agents, attorneys and brand owners based in Zimbabwe starting 9.30am.

Mr. Acedo, accompanied by the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, will later on meet with the Zimbabwean Chief Justice, Justice Luke Malaba and the Vice President, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

INTA has 7 member organizations in Zimbabwe and in Africa 248 members from 37 countries. Globally, it has more than 7,000 organizations from 190 countries. INTA members collectively contribute almost US $12 trillion to global GDP annually. For comparison, the 2015 annual GDP of the top three markets was $10.9 trillion (China), $16.2 trillion (European Union) and $17.9 trillion (United States).

The Association's member organizations represent some 30,000 trademark professionals and include brand owners from major corporations as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, law firms and nonprofits. There are also government agency members as well as individual professor and student members.

The not-for-profit Association was founded in 1878 by 17 merchants and manufacturers who saw a need for an organization “to protect and promote the rights of trademark owners, to secure useful legislation and to give aid and encouragement to all efforts for the advancement and observance of trademark rights." 

A Strategic Planning Workshop for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) is taking place at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe from 20-23 June 2017 to come up with an action plan of CMOs involvement on copyright issues in Africa.
 
Organized by CISAC and ARIPO, the regional workshop is to inform and articulate on priorities, objectives and activities to be carried out in the next four years to sustain the development of CMOs in Africa.
“In the four days’ workshop, the CMOs will craft a roadmap to drive the development of royalties’ collection in Africa for the next four years,” says Mr. Samuel Sangwa, CISAC Regional Director for Africa.
“CMOs are at the heart of creative industries, they need the necessary focus to unleash the potential of creators and contribute to social-economic development.”
 
“The aim of the strategic planning workshop is to identify challenges, propose support and development of activities and put up a robust implementation mechanism, he adds.
 
According to ARIPO’s Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, “this workshop is in line with the long standing cooperation with CISAC. ARIPO greatly supports and values such initiatives on copyrights and related rights systems.”
“Copyright works and it must work for all stakeholders, adds Mr. dos Santos.
 
ARIPO is hosting the workshop as the first activity within a framework of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February 2017 between CISAC and ARIPO.
 
The workshop has brought together 10 representatives from CMOs in Africa, most of them from ARIPO member states.