Ghana Government and the Swiss Federation have launched the first national Intellectual Property (IP) policy and strategy aimed at ensuring that innovators, creators, users and consumers of the IP system benefit from an improved IP environment.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah who launched the policy on Monday January 25, 2016, said government recognises intellectual property rights as a powerful catalyst within the national economy and it will modernise and strengthen the systems for protection through the new policy.
The policy would in the short-term, establish a functional and sustainable intellectual property system in Ghana and ensure IP becomes a catalyst for creativity, innovation and technological development in the medium term.
Dr Spio-Garbrah said adequate protection for IP rights creates favourable conditions for entrepreneurship, innovation and technology transfer and modernization of products, all of which are pivotal to increasing international competitiveness and adding value to Ghanaian products.
“It is therefore gratifying to note that activities outlined under the policy document, when implemented, will change the IP landscape,” he said.
He was confident that with the National IP Policy in place and the necessary awareness in the use of intellectual property rights, they would serve as tools to add value to one’s creativity and ingenuity and unearth many more inventors.
The Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Gerhard Brugger, said the new policy will ensure a balanced protection of intellectual property rights to promote competition and add value to Ghanaian products.
Mr Brugger said the Swiss Government had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of the second phase co-operation project which focuses on IP.
“The second phase continues the successful cooperation between Ghana and Switzerland in the field of IP established during the first phase of the project. The second phase of the project will provide capacity-building to the intellectual enforcement authorities so they can deliver better services,” he said.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, noted that the policy was not just a piece of document but a carefully thought through and structured policy, which takes into consideration a comprehensive approach to harnessing the intellectual potential, while offering the required regime and institutional support to ensure that IP rights are protected accordingly.
“This policy for which we are here today sets out the needed resources, institutional, legal and other framework necessary for realising the policy objectives for IP protection and sustaining same,’’ she said.