A senior official at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (Aripo) has urged member countries to religiously protect intellectual property rights and ensure that copyright is not pirated.
Aripo patent examiner John Kabare told delegates at a workshop organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology at a local hotel this week they should strive to put an end to all cases of piracy to encourage creativity.
“Piracy needs to be put to a halt. To ensure this, the issue of intellectual property rights needs to be addressed, and as the Zimbabwean economy regains momentum, science and technology will improve,” he said.
“Industrial property means patents, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications, names, uniforms and badges, international emblems, trade secrets and plant breeders’ rights.
“Whereas copyright and related rights refer to literary and artistic works, including rights emanating from copyrightable works such as dancing and singing is necessary,” said Kabare.
Kabare said there was need to apply for these rights as they were not “automatic”.
“These rights can be applied for through the relevant government office, locally, regionally or internationally through Aripo, African Intellectual Property
Organisation, and Eurasian Patent Office.
“According to the law, patent rights are a grant made by the State or an authority acting on behalf of the State of exclusive rights, for a limited time — 20 years in Zimbabwe — in respect of a new, non-obvious and useful invention, ” he said.
National University of Science and Technology Technopark director Eli Mthethwa said science and technology were offshoots of economic development.
Zimbabwe Association of Inventors president Ignatius Nyongo said intellectual property rights were vital to ensure protection of copyright.
“We are interested in managing intellectual property rights and bringing marginalised inventors into the mainstream economy through resource mobilisation, advocacy and lobbying,” he said.