“I assure you that we are committed to modernising the entire IP system in Nigeria. This will include the Trade Mark Act and the Patent and Design Act.”
The attorney general of the federation and justice minister, Abubakar Malami, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is working to ensure that Nigeria’s intellectual property law and administration are in line with current realities.
Mr Malami said this on Monday when the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s senior counsellor, Lorreta Asiedu, led a delegation to pay him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
The permanent secretary and solicitor-general at the Ministry of Justice, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, represented the minister.
“I assure you that we are committed to modernising the entire IP system in Nigeria. This will include the Trade Mark Act and the Patent and Design Act. There is also legislative work that we will be looking at to ensure that it is in line with the new copyright law,” he explained. “We hope that this will also serve as the catalyst for needed reforms in all aspects of IP law and administration and then bring them in line with the current reality in this digital age.”
Ms Asiedu said the visit was to seek the minister’s support on WIPO’s efforts in developing ‘National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy’ for the country.
She stated that WIPO had been working with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, consultants and relevant stakeholders in developing the document for Nigeria.
“This request is a long-standing one, and we are happy that, finally, we are able to bring it to this level. This is where we can invite stakeholders to look at the document, appreciate it, and their input before it is finalised and validated for consideration by policymakers,” the WIPO official stressed. We are here to seek your support by adopting the National IP policy and strategy.”
According to her, WIPO wants to use IP to support Nigeria’s development goals.
“Within a framework of the National IP policy and strategy, we are able to identify the comparative advantage that the country has,” she noted. “So, the area in which a country has a comparative advantage that is what we dwell to ensure that we undertake projects that make an impact in the lives of IP users community.’”