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Senate Deliberates On Bill To Stop Intellectual Property Theft

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Brand owners, designers, and artiste among many others will have a good reason to smile soon as the Senate is putting finishing touches to a critical bill that will help tackle intellectual property theft in the country. 

The bill was sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC –Ogun Central) with the title “Patent and Design Act 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2021”.

According to Amosun, “intellectual property rights, in a nutshell, are exclusive rights that are conferred by law to an individual, enterprise, corporation or entity for the product of that individual, enterprise, or corporation for his or its intellectual property and the bill was to revise the existing intellectual property law to prohibit theft by setting up a framework for civil/judicial procedures.

Leading the debate on the reading of the Bill, Senator Amosun said “Nigeria as part of the global village must be in tune with what obtains in other developing nations, especially in the areas of innovation and technological advancement.

He added “robust laws need to be enacted to strengthen the existing laws in line with the Senate’s progressive legislative agenda. This will facilitate the inclusion of advanced technologies and the stimulation of domestic innovative activity that will contribute to the development of Nigeria and place Nigeria firmly on the world map.

“The need to reform and revise intellectual property law of which the Patents Bill is a part, will, in my view, provide the necessary impetus that would place Nigeria firmly within the world economic environment”.

 Intellectual Property comes in different forms including scientific inventions, industrial designs, signs of a purely commercial value or trademark, trade secrets, literary works, as well as artistic and musical work. Intellectual property law confers on the individual the exclusive right of exploiting, assigning, transmitting, and contracting out the creations of his or her intellect. Those creations would have to be expressed in a legally admissible format and, in some cases, are subject to registration procedures.

Amosun explained that added that upon passage and assent into law, the same would give Nigeria the opportunity as a member of the International Union for the protection of industrial property, to secure maximum benefits from being part of the Patent Co-operation Treaty, 1970, to which it is a signatory.

After the second reading, the bill was referred by the Senate President to the Committee on Trade and Investment and they were also given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.

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