Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, on Thursday called for the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) rights to enable the owners and the nation to benefit from them.

Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu
Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu

She noted that Ghana needed to protect its entire trademark to avoid illegal usage by people who are reaping from them.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu said this during a forum on IP rights and the launch of the Intellectual Property (IP) Network, Ghana which was organised in collaboration with the Registrar-General?s Department.

She noted that the registration of our IP enable us to protect out trademarks, which would in effect dissuade people from using it illegally, due to the repercussions associated with it such as law suits.

She said textiles companies in the country had lost a lot of money due to the piracy of their designs which had caused them to lay off workers.

She called on Ghanaians to take a critical look at the commercialization and the economic impact of IP and how they could help to make lives better for innovators and the nation as a whole.

The Former Minister intimated that Ghana had been endowed with a lot of traditional knowledge such as folklores and the ?Kente? and other traditional designs, but the nations had not benefited much due to our inability to patent them, especially on the international market.

?Ghana has been endowed with traditional knowledge such as our folklore, high-life music and designs which must be protected to give us the needed international recognition?, she said.

She said any nation, which considered the registration of its IP, enables others to build on their knowledge and also communicate at the global level.

She intimated that the women in the North, who deal in shear butter have exhibited a lot of knowledge on the numerous uses of shear butter, but unfortunately, others had taken over the initiatives without giving them the needed recognition.

She appealed to Government to make money available for research, to help solve the socio-economic challenges facing the country and Africa as a whole.

She said although Africa had 14.3 per cent of the world?s population, it accounted for less than 2 per cent of the world?s researchers.

She called on African scientists to endeavour to develop drugs to fight Ebola which had taken a negative dimension on the world, especially on West Africa.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu bemoaned the poverty level which sometimes befall composers in the country and called on musicians in the country to unite and stop the infighting.

Mrs Sarah Norkor Anku, President, IP Network Ghana, said the organisation is an IP think tank devoted to, among others, IP advocacy, exchange of ideas towards promoting creativity, innovation and branding of Ghanaian products as well as promoting the IP system in Ghana.

She said the Group was made up of IP experts and practitioners mostly trained in intellectual property by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and others.

?Members bring on board diverse range of qualifications, ranging from Law, Bio Technology, Research and Documentation and Natural Applied Sciences?, she added.

Dr Poku Adusei, Senior Law lecturer, University of Ghana, called on those who wanted their innovations to be patented to visit the Registrar-General?s Department for the registration.

He called on Ghanians and Government to pay particular attention to IP to enable innovators and the nation to benefit from it.



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