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URSB registrar general Bemanya Twebaze

How Uganda can commercialise intellectual property

“It is not possible for one agency or Ministry however willing to implement the policy alone,” he said
posted onOctober 30, 2020

The Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Bemanya Twebaze says that for the country to develop and commercialize its Intellectual Property (IP), a number of factors have to be in place, for instance, “robust efforts in harnessing of ideas in education and research institutions”.

Measures to protect and enforce rights in the country and at the border have to be gazetted and there must be capacity building for relevant institutions and consistent sensitization of Uganda’s citizens in all sectors of the creativity.

The registrar general also noted that the country must facilitate innovation and business value chains.

“It is not possible for one agency or Ministry however willing to implement the policy alone,” he said Thursday during a stakeholder’s training workshop on implementation roles for the National Intellectual Property Policy 2019.

The Cabinet approved and passed the National Intellectual Property Policy in May 2019 and it was officially launched by the President in September 2020.

Now, relevant government entities are looking into strategizing and implementing the Policy and the training was “aimed at providing the necessary direction in that regard.”

URSB has called on officials who attended the training to actively participate in order to have a clear understanding of their roles and how they can begin implementing them as soon as possible. “Ladies and gentlemen, the transformation of the Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country as envisaged by the policy will depend largely on how fast Uganda can harness, protect and utilize intellectual property in a manner that encourages innovation and creativity,” the registrar general said.

“As a committee in charge of implementing the policy; this depends largely on the interventions we begin to undertake from now on; let us therefore commit to succeed knowing that if we don’t, our prosperity as a country is at stake.”

At the launch of the Policy this past month, President Museveni said the launch of the National Intellectual Property Policy was a major step towards protecting local innovations and helping the creators earn from their hard work.

“The launch of the National Intellectual Property Policy and the Security Interest in Movable Property Registry System (SIMPO) is a step in the right direction. The NRM Government continues to support all innovations aimed at increasing the profitability of Ugandans engaged in various enterprises,” the president said.

“The National Intellectual Property Policy will give innovators the full protection of the law through patents, copyright, trademarks, etc. This will enable these innovators to earn their rightful recognition and financial returns for their toil and sweat.”

According to the president, it is important that the Government creates an environment where creativity and innovation can thrive.

“The improvement in the quality of human life and man’s transition from primitive existence to modernity are attributed to the discoveries in medicine, engineering, architecture etc.,” he said, adding that the creations of the human mind have enabled the taming of nature throughout the four and a half million years of man’s existence on earth.

“Therefore, it is crucial that individuals or groups are rewarded for their innovations,” he asserted.

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