U.S. Mission fetes students, promotes intellectual property rights protection
To promote public awareness on protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), the United States Mission in collaboration with the American Business Council, hosted the second edition of its Intellectual Property (IP) Symposium in Lagos.
The two-day symposium tagged ‘Intellectual Property and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future,’ is the theme for World IP Day 2022.
The two-day symposium, led by the United States Department of Justice’s INL-funded Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT)’s International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Attorney Adviser (ICHIP), brought together key stakeholders in Nigeria’s IPR protection framework, including leading entertainment and creative industry leaders.
Delivering remarks during the opening ceremony of the symposium in Lagos, U.S. Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, noted that protection of intellectual property rights is critical for any economy that wants to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
She noted that strong intellectual property rights protection is essential to creating jobs and opening new markets for goods and services.
She encouraged stakeholders in the intellectual property space to shore up Nigeria’s IPR legal framework and lay a solid foundation for youths to drive innovation and engender a more prosperous Nigeria.
“Nigerian youths are incredible sources of ingenuity and creativity; a strong system of intellectual property rights assures inventors, industrial designers, musicians, and artists alike that their creative content would be protected and valued,” she said.
The symposium featured a plenary session, thematic panel discussions and exhibitions with particular focus on Nigeria’s burgeoning entertainment and creative industries.
Participants discussed how intellectual property rights can support their goals, help transform ideas into reality, generate income, create jobs, and make a positive impact.
Leading industry, legal and academic speakers explored options for making Nigerian IP infrastructure work for innovative youths in Nigeria, on one hand, while creative industry pioneers discussed negotiating opportunities for Nigeria’s creative industry. A spirited secondary school debate on the relevance of IPR protection for Nigeria’s better future also held, as well as thought provoking art performances to spotlight the place of creativity.
Through economic diplomacy overseas, the U.S encourages host-nation governments to establish predictable legal regimes to ensure intellectual property rights can be secured.
OPDAT’s ICHIP Attorney at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja serves as the sub-Saharan African regional hub for developing and administering technical and developmental assistance programs designed to enhance the capabilities of foreign justice sector institutions and law enforcement to prevent and combat intellectual property offenses and cybercrimes.
The U.S. Mission Nigeria organized the first intellectual property symposium in 2019 on “Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Piracy” and the original film, Fishbone, premiered at the 2019 symposium. This awareness-raising film on the dangers of counterfeit pharmaceuticals has been translated into French for the benefit of IP stakeholders in Francophone African countries.
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