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Strategic use of the Intellectual Property (IP) System

The National Meeting for Members of Parliament of the Republic of Malawi: Strategic use of the Intellectual Property (IP) System for Economic, Cultural, Social and Technological Development was organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Malawi

The meeting was held in Lilongwe, Malawi, on May 9 and May 11, 2018 at the Bingu International Conference Center.

Honourable Guests together with the Guest of honour pause for a group Photo

As a background of the meeting the Artoney General said that, in 2017 the Malawi Government requested for the techinical and financial assistance from the World Intellectual Property to support the meeting through the Department of the Registrar General ond the Copyright Society of Malawi, targeting Members of Parliament, in particular the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament.

He asked Ms. Joyce Banya to convey Malawi Government's gratitude to Dr. Francis Gunny, the Director General of WIPO for his continued support to the Government of Malawi through the Department of the Registrar General and Copyright Society of Malawi in raising awareness of Intellectual Property matters in Malawi. He further expressed his gratitude to members of the Legal Affairs committee of Parliament who were present as their presence signified how important intellectual property issues are in Malawi.

Honourable Artoney General, Charles Mhango

Ms. Joyce Banya, Senior Counselor, Regional Bureau for Africa at WIPO

Intellectual property is an important tool for economic, social and cultural growth and development. Good understanding of IP and a keen awareness of its potential and power are key in leveraging the opportunities it offers at all levels. As such different stakeholders must meet regulary to appreciate the importance of trademarks, patents and utility models and copyright and related rights to the economic growth of our country.

Intellectual property rights have been a topic of deebate over a long time. there are those who question the worth of creative products claiming that designs and arts are something anyone can do, regardless of training, experience or any inherent ability. This attitude leads people to use other people's inventions and innovations without the owner consent. Intellectual property rights are like any other rights. They allow creators or owners of patents, designs, trademarks and copyrighted works to benefit from their work or in estment creation. The rights are outlined in Article 27 of the Universla Declaration of Human Rights, which provide for the right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship of scientific, literary or artistic production.

Honourable Artoney General said that, as Government in collaboration with all its stakeholders, including WIPO, there is engagement in a medium to long term initiatives to provide an enabling environment for the existence of a balanced national IP system. This has envolved producing a draft National Intellectual Property Policy and Implementation Strategy and the review of all IP lawss in order to ensure that they address the needs and aspiration s of modern Malawi.

(left to right) Ms. Dora Makwinja, Honourable Charles Mhango, Honourable Thyolera MP and Mr Chapusa Phiri

On belhaf of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Artoney General thanked the Parliament Legal Affairs Committee for their role in passing the Copyright Act and the Trademarks Act. He was hopefull that the committee will support the Patents Act as well when presented in Parliament. The Registered Design Act will also be revised.

Morden IP regime will lead to greater efficiency, predictability, and reliability for users here in Malawi. It will also assist in attracting direct foreign investment into Malawi since oweners of intellectual property rights will be assured of protection of their rights and hence earn a good return for their investment in Malawi.

©10th May 2018
Cape Verde Islands
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