A week-long Patent Drafting Course to enhance the capacity and skills required for patent drafting and increase the level of patenting in the ARIPO Member States and the Africa region is underway at ARIPO.

The course that has been organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization and supported by the Japan Patent Office through the Japan Funds-in-Trust for Africa at WIPOis taking place at ARIPO from September 3 to 7, 2018.

The ARIPO’s Corporate Services Executive, Mrs. Hilary Arko-Dadzie who read the opening remarks on behalf of the ARIPO Director General noted that statistics have revealed that the numbers of patents originating from ARIPO Member States are very few.

“This workshop has been organized to enhance the capacity and skills required for patent drafting with the ultimate goal of increasing the level of patenting in the ARIPO Member States and Africa in general,” said Mrs. Arko-Dadzie.

The WIPO Global Innovation Index of 2017 report explores the impact of innovation-oriented policies on economic growth and development. The report suggests that while financial investment, legal frameworks and institutional infrastructure create a supportive environment for innovation. But it is the human capital that is fundamental and determines the quality of innovation.

This patent drafting training this week therefore addresses this important aspect of human capital as it aims at improving patent literacy that requires special skills noted Ms. Aida Dolotbaeva, Legal Officer, Patent Law Division in WIPO.

“Patent Drafting skills are one of the important competencies to increase the use of national and international patents systems, since filling a patent application is the very first step for the active use of the patent systems,” said Ms. Dolotbaeva.

“Strong and effective IP systems are needed to promote innovation and develop industries in the Africa region. They not only help local inventors and companies to come up with new inventions and products, but also encourage foreign companies, including Japanese ones, to come and invest. In other words, strong IP systems are one of the foundations needed to drive sustainable development in Africa,” said the Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe, Mr Kenichi Kasahara.