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ARIPO to launch a free regional intellectual property database to promote trade in Africa

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) will today launch a Regional Intellectual Property (IP) database. The centralized database with published IP titles from the ARIPO Member States will not only be accessible online but will be free for all.

The IP Database is designed to efficiently serve multiple purposes, including on-line provision of published IP data, encouragement of regional trade, IP scientific research, IP rights protection and enforcement in the ARIPO region, as well as sustainable development of IP.

“Technology is an agent of change, and major technological innovations have resulted in paradigm shifts in the way business is conducted. As the ARIPO Office we are utilizing ICT tools to establish our presence in global intellectual property and to foster creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa,” says the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos.

“The Office has embarked on a number of ICT projects taking advantage of the ICT tools available to provide efficiency in IP business processing, support the availability of IP information, encourage IP scientific research and IP rights protection and enforcement,” He adds.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2016 IP Statistics Report, Africa as a whole accounted for only 0.6% of the total applications filed internationally. The Database will therefore contribute significantly to improve the use and uptake of IP in the ARIPO region thereby increasing the number of local and regional applications which is still very low.

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The IP database will be free and easy to access for searches by IP Agents and anyone who wishes to find information or register a patent, industrial design or trademark.

The development of the Regional IP Database was supported by WIPO. They provided the software for the database and assisted with the extraction of published IP data from the IPAS system in the Member States.

The ARIPO Regional IP Database to be launched will have information from ARIPO, Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The launch will be officiated by the Representative of the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Project Manager in the IP Office Business Solutions Division, Mr. Gregory Sadyalunda and the Representative of the Commissioner of the Japanese Patent Office, the Deputy Director, Information Technology and Patent Information Management Office, Japan Patent Office, Mr. Hiroyuki Nishibori.

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization is Africa’s leading Intellectual Property hub that fosters creativity and Innovation for economic growth and development in Africa. ARIPO’s mandate is on Copyright, Patents & Utility Models, Industrial Designs, Trademarks, Traditional Knowledge & Folklore, Access and Benefit Sharing, Geographical Indications and Plant Variety Protection.

The ARIPO Member States are: Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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