Attorney General Charles Mhango says a modern intellectual property (IP) regime is crucial in the development of any nation, including Malawi, as it leads to greater efficiency, predictability and reliability of users.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting for members of Parliament (MPs)on IP organised by World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), Mhango said IP is crucial to the growth of the economy and can attract foreign and direct aid if properly embraced.
He said: “As our economy continues to integrate with the global trade, a modern 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 owners of intellectual property rights will be assured of protection of their rights and hence earn a good return from their investment in Malawi.”
Wipo senior councillor at Regional Bureau for Africa, Joyce Banya, said for a country to effectively derive benefits and exploit the IP system for development there is need to deliberately create synergy between Parliament, government, private industry, research and institutions of higher learning.
Copyright Society of Malawi executitve director Dora Makwinja agreed with Banya that there is need to have deliberate policies and other enabling instruments in place that can safeguarded innovations.
According to the Wipo, IP refers to creations of the mind, inventions, literally and artistic works, symbols, names and images used in commerce.n