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Firm offers free legal advice to SME operators, entrepreneurs 

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A leading law firm, Udo Udoma and Belo-Osagie (UUBO) over the weekend gave free legal advise to SME operators and young entrepreneurs at the second edition of their Black Friday programme.

The event held at the firm’s Lagos office was attended by mostly youths that are either incubating their business ideas or has already set them in motion.

The programme called Black Friday 2.0 is one of the ways through which the firm gives love back to the society. It was designed to inform SME operators and young entrepreneurs on the importance of guarding and protecting their intellectual properties jealously, the things to do and avoid to have a healthy business.

An associate of the firm, Femi Adeluola explained Intellectual property as the business ideas, things that drive the business, which needs to be protected.

Furthermore, he said it is important to have a license to use the intellectual properties, which include name, symbol, logo and software. This license, he said, makes one the sole owner of the ideas, thereby keeping others from using them.

“If you don’t protect the key thing, the very thing that help you make profit, it’s as good as not really a business. I mean, sourcing for fund is all well and good, but if you have not protected the idea that you are trying to fund, you might as well not get into business,” he said.

Mena Ajakpovi, a partner of the firm rigorously advised participants to shun delay in getting protection for intellectual properties, which he said is the foundation of every business.

Ajakpovi said: “The first thing you must know is that ideas which is the basis for your business are intrinsically parallel. Don’t think you are a super star. As you are thinking about it, someone somewhere is thinking about it. That is why the law says that ideas are not protectable. You can’t say I was the one that had the idea first. How do you know?”

In the same vein, a senior associate of the firm, Tega Agbosa said that it is disastrous to share intellectual property with people who are neither your partners nor investors, noting that the owner might be robbed of it.

Participants are further advised to seek legal advice before going into partnership, drafting contracts and pay attention to details, no matter how little before signing documents.


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