IP system enabling companies to profit from their innovation

By Abigirl Tembo

Small and medium enterprises have been challenged to take advantage of the intellectual property system to benefit from its innovative capacity and creativity.

African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) delegates attending a two-day intensive course in Harare have called on small and medium enterprises to make use of the intellectual property system which is critical for new ventures to transform their innovation potential and creativity into market value and competitiveness.

“Africa has always played the catch-up game. That game should end and we should be leaders in this IP game. Let’s use this platform to re exchange knowledge. Industry designs and utility models are low hanging fruits and we should tap into that and link it to our SMEs. We can use our IPs to create employment. Let’s not look at IP in an elitist manner but look at it in a way that will help us. I see endless opportunities in IPs,” said ARIPO Director General Mr Bemanya Twebaze.

In her key note address, the European Union delegate to Zimbabwe, Mrs Lourdes Chamorro said it is high time businesses reap the full benefits of their inventions.

We need to promote awareness on designs and utility models including how sharing of information among participants on how universities research and development institutions and Intellectual property offices are all part of a value chain that together we can harness creativity and innovation to boost the African economy,” said Mrs Chamorro.

The two-day training programme seeks to raise awareness and promote ARIPO’s Regional Intellectual Property System for registering designs and utility model trends in the ARIPO region.