Ghana reviews Patent Act
Government is reviewing Patent Act (Act 657) to promote, enhance and use it as a tool for economic development, Mr Ebo Barton Oduro, Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General, said on Thursday.
According to him, the patent system provided incentives to individuals by offering them recognition for creativity and material rewards for their marketable inventions.
Speaking at a two-day Swiss Government-sponsored workshop for the review of the Swiss-Ghana Intellectual Property Project of the Ministries of Trade and Attorney General in Accra, he noted that intellectual Property Rights (IPR) benefited society at so many levels and it was as much as a national issue as a global one.
Mr Oduro said the goal of the IPRs protection was to afford these creations with the same respect that was given to personal and tangible property.
He said IPR was fast growing and that to be compliant, nations needed to bring their legislations on IPR in line with various conventions and best practices.
He said the review had become necessary to enhance the Agreement on Trade Related Aspect on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and also focus on the question of access to information and knowledge by ensuring that the country took advantage of the exception clause.
The Deputy Minister said this would provide a better legislative environment, create an efficient patent protection system and boast research work and inventive activities.
Mr Oduro was of the view that at the heart of IPR lay the question of balance, the incentive to create on one hand and the diffusion of social benefits of the innovation on the other.
He called for the capacity to create and for policy makers to be abreast with topical global issues in relation to patent landscapes.
Mr Oduro urged participants to bring their expertise to the table bearing in mind that members of the Worlds Trade Organisation (WTO) had the option of limiting the scope of certain rights and noted that the review and other industrial property rights under review remained high on the agenda of government.
Mr Kwame Fosu, Head of the Legal Department of the Trade Ministry, expressed the hope that the outcome of the deliberation would add onto the building blocks of IPR system in Ghana as well as improve the legal and institutional framework to facilitate an effective system of patent administration.
He said Ghana was being assisted to design a modern system of IPR that would improve the business environment, encourage know-how and technology transfer, facilitate export and contribute to economic development.