THE African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (Aripo) yesterday launched the regional intellectual property (IP) database designed to promote regional trade.
BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA
Intellectual property (IP) are creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce.
Speaking at the launch of the portal, Aripo director-general, Fernando dos Santos said they were making use of information communication technology (ICT) tools to make a footprint in global intellectual property.
“Technology is an agent of change, and major technological innovations have resulted in paradigm shifts in the way business is conducted.
As Aripo, we are utilising ICT tools to establish our presence in global intellectual property and to foster creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa,” he said.
The regional IP database has information on Aripo member states that include, Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) 2016 IP Statistics Report, Africa as a whole accounted for only 0,6% of the total applications filed internationally.
“Launch of the database will, therefore, contribute significantly to improve the use and uptake of IP in the Aripo region, thereby increasing the number of local and regional applications which is still very low,” he added.
The Aripo boss said his organisation had embarked on ICT projects to provide efficiency in intellectual property business processing.
The IP database will be free and easy to access for searches by IP agents and anyone who wishes to find information or register a patent, industrial design or trademark, he added.
Aripo is Africa’s leading intellectual property hub.