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IP Crime Unit in Zambia

At the 10th Session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement held in November 2015. The deputy Commissioner of the Zambia Police service presented a paper on the national strategy to combat intellectual Property crimes in Zambia. The paper found here, highlights strategies developed to enforce intellectual property rights by the Zambian Police Intellectual Property Unit.

The Zambia Police Intellectual Property Unit (IPU), is unit of the Zambian police that is specialized in intellectual property and cybercrimes. Along with enforcing right holders IP rights, it advises the general service police, foreign and local businesses, governments and non –profit organizations on intellectual property enforcement and IP policy.

Zambia, a southern African country, is surrounded by eight neighbours, equalling eight borders through which counterfiet goods can come into the country. Zambia is also a trade hub and the headquaters for COMESA(The Common Market for East and Southern Africa), these factors combined has neccesitated the creation of an IP unit dedicated to the enforcement of Intellectual property at its eight borders.

The most common counterfeit goods in Zambia are DVD’s , CD’s , audio visual software, baby milk, pharmaceuticals, body lotion, motor vehicles spare parts(such as tires and brake pads) , beverages, cigarettes, toothpaste, electrical appliances and agricultural inputs like fertilizers , pesticides and corn seeds.

As the IPU is currently based at police headquarters in Lusaka province, the unit has been working over the last several years to decentralise the service to the ten provinces of Zambia as the problem of counterfeiting ion Zambia is countrywide.

While statistics on the success of the Unit are unavailble, the existance of the unit is a stride in the right direction and a good example for other african countries to follow.

For more information please contact Carole Theuri

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