Reps consider law meant to protect, strengthen intellectual property

By Gift Chapi Odekina 

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed through second reading a bill seeking  to repeal the Patents Design Act of 1971 and re-enact the Patents and Designs Act 2019, to bring about an upgrade in the body of laws governing patents, designs and utility models in Nigeria. 

 Sponsor of the  bill, Rep. Oluga Taiwo while debating the bill Stressed that the 1971 act does not recognize utility models as a type of patent or class of intellectual property in Nigeria.

This he said was in contravention of the international Lega instruments on intellectual Property.

He further said that the current legal framework for the administration of Patents in Nigeria was not only out dated, but also inadequate to meet the needs of the modern society. 

“In the current age of international trade, Nigeria cannot afford to be isolated neither is it insulated from world events. Therefore, the prospects of doing business in Nigeria should be at per with what obtains in other countries of the world by strengthening the intellectual property regime in Nigeria, through the instrumentality of this bill.

“The intellectual property rights are exclusive rights that areconferred by law to an individual, enterprise, corporation or anylegal entity for the products of that individual, enterprise orcorporations or any legal entity for the product of his or its intellects. 

“Products of intellects can take many forms as we know, and those that would be protected include scientific inventions, industrial designs, signs of a purely commercial value or trademarks, a trade secret on the one hand; and they may be in the form of literary works, it may be in a form of artistic work or aMusical work.

“Intellectual property law does confer on the individual, the exclusive rights of exploiting, assigning, transmitting and contracting out creations of intellect. 

“In other words, the same way a person owns land or a person may own a car or any other item or property, the law provides for protection of those tangible rights and ownership, provides protection and grants the individual exclusive rights to exploits theLand or car in terms of selling it, renting it or exporting or importing a car or tangible asset, in the same way with intellectual property, the law provides protection for exclusive exploitation, assignment, transmission and the contracting-out of novel creations of theIntellect.

Taiwo while speaking further stressed that the  bill if passed will enhance the quality of life of all Nigerians and  provides a comprehensive industrial/intellectual property system that protectsInnovations and creative expressions. 

He added that the bill Wii be a little helpful pre-condition to creating and using new technology and therefore, would boosteconomic growth and aid development. 

“A strong system of intellectual property rights is indispensable to technologicaldevelopment and advancement.

“The new Bill seeks to repeal the old law and re-enact a fresh patent, designs and utility model law, which updates the extant 1971 Patent and Designs Act and it incorporates several recommendations from the Publications of the World Intellectual property organization. 

“These innovations are substantial and for ease of comprehension, interpretation and reading, there is theNeed to repeal and re-enact the law, he added. 

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