Uganda: An IP policy document
Uganda has become the latest African country to publish a national IP policy document. On 27 May 2019 the Ugandan cabinet approved the National Intellectual Property Policy. Here are some of the stand-out features of this document:
- The purpose of the document is stated to be a desire to stimulate innovation and creativity, attract direct foreign investment, and improve the system of IP rights enforcement. The document says that the authorities believe that a strong IP system will encourage growth.
- The approach that will be adopted by the authorities will be to create measures that encourage and facilitate the effective creation, development and management of IP assets. In particular, the document says that the thinking is to persuade people in Uganda to protect, develop and exploit their inventions and innovations.
- The authorities feel that it is important to ensure that there is collaboration between different IP administrative and enforcement bodies. • There will be a focus on the strengthening of national IP systems. One might therefore anticipate new IP legislation or amendments to existing pieces of legislation.
- The authorities further feel that there should be ‘linkages’ between national and international IP systems.
- IP will in future feature in national development policies and strategies.
- The authorities express the desire to improve IP awareness through training programmes.
IP policy documents have become quite popular in Africa. These documents tend to focus on similar aspects, for example, IP must be embraced and encouraged because it can stimulate economic growth. Sentiments like these are, of course, laudable, but real action is required to make them meaningful.
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