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Ghana Partners with Switzerland to Strengthen its Intellectual Property System.

In a bid to improve its intellectual property (IP) system, the Ghanaian government in a joint venture with Switzerland recently launched a National Intellectual Property (NIPPS) policy.

While the development of the policy was driven by the country's trade policy prescription, which aims to bring Ghana's IP regime in line with its international commitment under the World Trade Organisation on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the long term goal of the policy is to exploit intellectual property rights for accelerated growth in technological and industrial development in Ghana.

The policy sets out the direction in which the country wants to drive its innovations such as kente clothes and shea butter production as well as the protection of these innovations. The objectives of the policy includes strengthening institutional frameworks for the administration and management of IP rights, strengthening legal and institutional frameworks for enforcement of IP rights, strengthening the legal framework for protection of Intellectual Property (IP) rights and the promotion of creativity and innovation to enhance IP generating activities in Ghana

Ghana has the potential of establishing new brands for fruits, cocoa, beans and shea butter for export and a strong and balanced IP rights system that encourages technology transfer, research and development and the building of local brands will have a positive impact on the economy.

Currently the protection of intellectual property in Ghana is through the Trade Marks Act, 2004 (ACT 664), Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690), the Patents Act 2003, Act (657), Industrial designs Act ,2003(Act 660), Geographical Indications Act, 2003(Act 659) and the Layout-Designs(topographies) of integrated Circuits Act ,2004(Act 667) with laws relating to traditional knowledge and genetic resources, as well as plant variety protection soon to be enacted.

It is hoped that the National policy on IP rights, would help to plot the direction in which the country wants to drive its innovations with amendments to the current acts to reflect the same.

For more information kindly contact Chidimma Igilige

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