‘Develop IP Policy’

-Universities, Research Centers Encouraged

The Director General for the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Fernando dos Santos, has appealed to administrators of universities, research centers and colleges across the country to develop an Intellectual Property policy (IP), if they want their students and professors to compete in this knowledge-based driving world.

Dos Santos explained that an institutional IP policy is a formal document which deals with the ownership of and right to use the IP, guidelines on the sharing of profits from successful exploitation; and mechanisms to ensure respect for third-party IP rights—and procedures for identification, evaluation, protection and management of IP.

He added in the absence of IP policy, universities and colleges in Liberia will finding it difficult to become cornerstone of innovation and creativity for students and professors, making it difficult for them to have their great ideas flourish, which will hinder their ability to fully compete in this knowledge-based world.

Dos Santos made the remarks at the end of the two-day IP roving seminar for academic and research institutions, held at the conference room of the University of Liberia (UL) under the theme: “Fostering Creativity and Innovation for Economic Growth and Development in Africa.”

His statements came after representatives of universities and research centers who attended the program admitted they lack institutional IP policy.

“This situation will cause them not to generate the huge economic and societal benefit an IP policy brings. However, with an effective IP policy, these universities and research institutions are creating an environment that supports and encourages innovation and development and many more.

“Also, an IP policy helping professors and students ideal to flourish, and invest more time into make new discoveries, since they know that will receive incentive because of the IP policy already in place. Secondly, the universities, and research centers will flourish as well because they will be able to make money through licensing the discovery made—a situation which strengthening the local economy by having a highly educated labor force and a strong innovation sector,” he said.

He added the development of IP policy at various universities and research centers across the country will lead Liberian professors and students to prioritize research and innovations, since they will be received benefits.

“Such an endeavor will make the universities more appealing to smart students, scientists and professors, and increase prestige since more discoveries will be made and many more,” he said.

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is an inter-governmental organization (IGO) that facilitates cooperation among member states in intellectual property matters, with the objective of pooling financial and human resources, and seeking technological advancement for economic, social, technological, scientific and industrial development.

ARIPO was mainly established to pool the resources of its member countries in industrial property matters together in order to avoid duplication of financial and human resources.

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