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Ghana set to transform management of intellectual property rights

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Ghana on Tuesday set out structural indicators for modernisation of the country’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime in conformity with international best practices.

These include the provision of transfer of technology among key stakeholders on operations of IPR, create avenue for innovation to enhance productivity and facilitate trade and industrial competitiveness.

Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry (MOTI), disclosed this during the inauguration of National Intellectual Property Policy Committee (NIPPC) and Technical Coordination Group charged with the mandate to establish national IP policy development.

The committees are to enable formal exchange of information on annual basis, provide strategic guidance to ensure that IPR operates in line with the country’s development trend.

The committees under the supervision of MOTI, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, was initiated through the Government’s Trade Sector Support Programme.

The Government of Switzerland through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is funding the project.

The committees are made up of representatives from MOTI, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, National Commission on Culture, Association of Ghana Industry, Institute of Industrial Research, Copyright Office, University of Ghana Faculty of Law, and Ministry of Health.

Others are National Board for Small Scale Industries, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Customs Excise and Preventive Service, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Justice, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and Food and Drugs Board.

The rest are Ghana Chamber of Commerce, National Planning Development Commission, Ghana Consumer Association, Registrar General’s Department and Musicians Union of Ghana.

Ms Tetteh said Ghana was ready to take advantage of IPR over rich natural products unique to the country in its quest to maximise the gains from international trade.

“We ought to be in the business of identifying these products and the scale of the opportunities and strategies to maximise the potential gains from them and getting value,” the Trade Minister noted.

Representatives of Swiss Government, Mr Ingo Meitinger, Martin Saladin and Ms Angela Deppeler witnessed the inauguration ceremony.

Mr Meitinger said the project was to ensure that National Intellectual Property Policy was articulated, explore avenue for enactment of legislation in all areas of TRIPS Agreement and make it fully operational, updated and completed.

It also has a component for increasing public awareness and understanding of intellectual property issues, continuous sensitisation of the Judiciary on IP issues, establishment of efficient automated industrial property management system and institutionalisation of electronic Copyright Register.

Source: GNA

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