April 30, 2015

Ministry implements 60 reforms in intellectual property sector

Ministry implements 60 reforms in intellectual property sector


By Franklin  Alli

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) implemented no fewer than 60 reforms in the last four years in the intellectual property sector of the economy.

economyOlusegun Aganga, the Minister, disclosed this during the celebration of the 2015 Intellectual Property Day with a theme; Get Up, stand Up for Music in Abuja. According to him, all the recorded 60 reforms put in place in the last 4 years in the Ministry are game changers adding that it would not have been possible in the Ministry that have limited resources without the creativity, and strong relationship we have with World Industrial Property Organization (WIPO), as well as hard work of the Director and staff of the Ministry. He reiterated government commitment to protection of intellectual property right by introduction of modern methods for industrial property registration in the department of Commercial Law (MITI) since 2012.

The Minister said during his tenure in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, he ensured that Nigeria Industrial Property’s registry was given special attention to enable it operate and start using modern methods.

“A number of reforms were introduced like online registration of applications in 2012, the technology and innovation support centre call “TISK” which had greatly assisted researchers, entrepreneurs, students and universities in accessing data and information about inventions and innovations, automation of registration process”.

He said “Again we are working towards ensuring that we digitalize the records. We have volumes of records which is an eyes sore starting from 1901. We have started the process to digitalize stark of files with the help of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Japanese government”.

In his contribution, the Chief Executive Officer, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Mr. Chinedu Angus Chuwhuji pointed out that there is a need to urgently exploit the contribution of music industry to the growth of the Nigerian economy and be one of the largest employers of labour in the country.

National intervention

He said that the World Intellectual Day 2015 will trigger national intervention in the problems militating against the proper growth of Nigeria’s creative industries and call on legislators to help strengthen laws to deal with the digital challenge of the sector.

Earlier, the representative of United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Alan R. Tousignant (Counselor for Economic Affairs) commended the Ministry and Investment and Nigerian Bar Association for hosting the event adding that music industry is a thriving sector of the economy that provides jobs for millions of people in Nigeria and United States.

He said in U.S. in 2010 intellectual property and entertainment industry contribute $5 trillion making 25 percent of US economy, those industries provides 27 million Americans job directly and another 30 million indirect jobs in the supply chain. Given the important of the sector, it is important that government provides an enabling environment for people in the industry and effective protection of copy right and patent is an essential role of government to encourage innovation and creativity.