KIGALI - Rwanda will, today, join the rest of the world to celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have organised a national workshop aimed at providing knowledge and expertise in the field of intellectual property rights.
The workshop, which will take place at MINICOM, aims at disseminating the provisions from the new Intellectual Property Law and Policy to the participants, who have a crucial role in the enforcement of activities.
According to Louise Kanyonga, the Registrar General at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the new law on intellectual property will facilitate the country’s vision to become a middle income, knowledge-based economy.
“To achieve this, the government's strategy was to spearhead the private sector and ICT as the engines of growth,” Kanyonga told The New Times.
“Intellectual property rights and protection are very key in promoting enterprise and innovation, which are critical building blocks for a private sector led, knowledge-based economy.”
Kanyonga said that the event would bring together stakeholders in Intellectual Property, to take stock of the progress made so far and discuss strategies for further measures to meet this vision.
The country recently ratified several international intellectual property protocols,, and according to Kanyonga, this will require it to harmonise its intellectual property laws and administration to meet international standards.
“Internationally recognised events such as this provide an opportunity for collective discussion on shared challenges and opportunities,” she said.
Rwandan Artistes and Authors will benefit from the new intellectual property law, which would ensure that copyright and patent rights are not infringed upon.
“The new Intellectual property law provides several protection levels for owners of intellectual property,”
“They grant exclusive rights of use, protection against imitation, and compensation for authorised use (royalty fees),” Kanyonga added.
The Registrar General said that there has been a significant increase in registration of intellectual property works since the law was passed.
She noted that previously, the field was covered by archaic colonial laws, which did not encourage creativity and innovativeness, adding that the new Intellectual property law is modelled on best practices.
“It has simplified and transparent registration procedures, as well as improved enforcement and protection provisions,” Kanyonga noted.
According to MINICOM, today’s workshop offers a platform for stakeholders to exchange experiences and also discuss the way forward with a view to enhancing the use of intellectual property to engineer growth and development.
Various institutions involved in Intellectual Property Administration and Enforcement will make presentations on Intellectual Property laws and the enforcement procedures.