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Judiciary ready to resolve Intellectual Property and Patent Disputes – CJ

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Chief Justice Georgina Wood

The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina T. Wood, on Friday expressed the Judiciary’s readiness to resolve disputes on Intellectual Property and Patent Rights in science, technology and innovation in the country.

However, she stressed the need for capacity building for judges so that they could be abreast with issues on the laws on Intellectual Property and Patent Rights.

Mrs Justice Wood made the observation when a seven-member delegation participating in a three-day Strategic Future Leader’s Public Lecture and Conference 2011 from June 23-26, paid a courtesy call on her in Accra.

The delegation included Dr Amos Sawyerr, Former Interim President of Liberia, Mr Justice Lovemore Green Munlo, Chief Justice of Malawi, Mr Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, Chief Executive Officer of Future Leaders Group, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament and Mr Paul Boateng, a Diplomat and Legal Practitioner.

The delegation is among participants attending the Conference on the theme: “Law Making and Policy Formulation: The Impact on Youth Development.”

The participants would also discuss ” Harnessing the Potential of the Youth in Oil and Gas, ICT and Agric-business industries: key issues”.

The Chief Justice said the Judiciary had a crucial role to play in the development of skills of the youth by adjudicating on matters concerning Intellectual Property and Patent rights, and noted that the two issues had not received much attention hence discouraging innovation by the youth.

She decried the increasing large number of the youth languishing in the country’s prisons whose skills were untapped.

The Chief Justice noted that youth who found themselves in the country’s prisons could be trained in various fields of endeavours to accelerate national development.

Mrs Justice Wood said some of the youth who found themselves seated or loitering under trees ended up committing mischief.

Recalling her experience during a visit to Nsawam Medium Security Prisons when the Judiciary decided to move the courts to the Prisons as a result of lack of transportation, “My heart sunk when I saw the number of the youth in the prisons.”

She said during her mentoring programme, one of the issues that came up was streetism and called on stakeholders to come on board to tackle the problem.

Mr Boateng on behalf of the delegation tasked governments in Africa to marshal more funds to support the development of science, technology and innovation.

He said the development of science, technology and innovation would enable youth participate in the building of the African economy.

“If there is no development of science, technology and innovation the continent cannot grow,” he remarked.

Mr Boateng, who is also a Former British High Commissioner to South Africa, lauded the African Union’s role in setting aside one per cent of the GDP of Member States to promote science and technology but called for more action in order to harness the potentials of the youth.

He decried the losing of patent rights in Africa as a result of the lack of enforcement of the law on Intellectual Property Rights.

Citing the textile industry, Mr Boateng noted that globally, skills were being lost; designs of the Kente are being replaced adding “there is no protection for them.”

According to him, globally, Sub-Saharan Africa had about 633 of patents taken away and appealed to the Legislature and Judiciary to formulate policies and enact laws to protect property rights.

“If the Judiciary and Parliament can take the lead in protecting the two laws the youth would be assured that their skills could be protected to the benefit of Africa,” he said.

Mr Boateng called for the provision of resources to fund the enforcement of Intellectual Property Law and Patent Rights.

Mr Justice Munlo lauded the role of the Future Leaders Group for assisting government to come up with policies.

Dr Sawyerr said development of the youth in Africa was crucial, saying countries were at risk of losing the youth if efforts were not doubled to develop their skills.

Mr Dei-Tumi pleaded with the Judiciary to come out with correctional methods for the youth in the country’s prisons.

Source: GNA

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