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Published: April 1, 2020

Published in Latest News
Wednesday, 02 October 2019 09:25

Uganda delegation attends 2019 WIPO Conference

 

Uganda delegation led by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Maj Gen. Kahinda Otafiire joined other delegates from the World Intellectual Property’s  192 member states to consider a range of work on issues related to Intellectual Property, the bedrock for economic policy in a globalized, technology-driven world.

Decisions taken by Member State delegates at the WIPO Assemblies bolster the global intellectual property (IP) framework, the future of innovation and creativity and WIPO’s role in promoting the economic, social & cultural development of all countries.

The Uganda delegation emphasized that in a globalized economy, WIPO will continue to play an important role in achieving balanced rules of intellectual property protection, and noted that Uganda will continue to invest in the use of IP to realize the national development goals.

 

Source: Bemanya Twebaze (via LinkedIn)

 

Published: Oct. 2 2019

Published in Latest News

 

By Bemanya Twebaze

 

Uganda’s success in the knowledge-based economy is critically dependent on effective mechanisms for nurturing innovation and creativity.

On May 27, Cabinet approved the National Intellectual Property Policy to establish an appropriate infrastructure that supports innovation and creativity, develop human capital for the IP value chain, and enhance the utilisation of the IP system.

The value of IP is founded in its contribution towards the development and sustainable exploitation of human ingenuity and creativity.

Trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, copyright, and trade secrets can all significantly contribute to enhancing innovation and creativity. The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) is the National Intellectual Property Office of Uganda and is the office in charge of administering the intellectual property laws.

 

IP for development

The history of intellectual property (IP) in Uganda dates back to pre-independence when the country inherited the British IP System. For example, the first trademark was registered in 1913 under Britain’s Patents, Designs and Trademarks Ordinance of 1912.

Since then we have witnessed growth in IP registrations and grants through various IP legislations (The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2006, The Trade Secrets Protection Act 2009, The Trademarks Act No.17 of 2010, The Geographical Indications Act 2013, and The Industrial Property Act 2014).

While significant progress has been made in the generation and protection of IP assets, very little has been done with respect to the commercialisation of IP assets. The level of commercialisation of literary works, audio-visual works (e.g. films and music), visual and creative arts through copyright and related IP assets in creative and cultural industries is also disproportionately low.

The extent to which the IP assets are currently exploited in both public and private sectors remains highly constrained, in spite of the Government of Uganda acknowledging intellectual property (IP) as an essential prerequisite for sustainable development.

 

Business growth through IP

The relevance of IP in promoting sustainable wealth creation, employment creation, and inclusive growth is ingrained in the increasing relevance of IP to key sectors of the national economy, such as agriculture, trade, and industry, science, technology and innovation, ICT, health, tourism, culture, environment and labour. The role of IP in “transforming Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country” is rooted in these dynamic sectors of the economy involving knowledge-intensive activities that are contributing to accelerated scientific, technological, innovative and creative advances.

As Uganda transitions towards a knowledge-based economy, these and other sectors will all progressively depend on access to and use of IP to generate wealth and social good. The more IP becomes central to socio-economic development and wealth creation, the more it will be elevated as a strategic micro and macro-economic tool for inclusive growth.

 

National IP policy benefits

The core purpose of this National Intellectual Property (IP) Policy is to provide direction on short, medium and long-term activities and interventions that will enable IP stakeholders effectively work together towards creating, protecting and commercially exploiting research results, innovations, new technologies, and creative works.

The policy, therefore, directs the process of mainstreaming the integration of IP into priority national development policies, strategies, and plans, for purposes of contributing to the accelerated realisation of national development goals. The policy will encourage both public and private sectors to recognise and harness the value of IP for the benefit of all Ugandans.

The realisation of Uganda’s Vision 2040 and the Second National Development Plan (NDPII) remains a crucial target. The policy will catalyse transition from an agrarian to a knowledge-based economy; promote IP as a tool for all-inclusive transformation of academia, creative, informal, public and private sectors of the national economy. The policy has a number of strategies to facilitate the enhancement of innovation and creativity, productivity