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Group implores FG to sign reviewed IP laws

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The Business Assets and Intellectual property Valuation Division of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (BA&IPV) has called on the Federal Government to sign into law reviewed Intellectual Property (IP) laws.

The group noted that existing laws are moribund as they were enacted when there were less information on the intellectual property. Speaking in commemoration of the international Intellectual Property Day, themed, “IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market”, Chairman, BA&IPV, Lekan Akinwunmi, noted that SMEs are the backbones of national economies, hence, the need to protect their ideas.

He said that the synergy between IP and SMEs couldn’t be over emphasised, as most times, SMEs owners don’t have the financial capital to thrive or compete favourably, while securing loans prove problematic, thereby affecting the production output.

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He said that according to World International Property Organisation, (WIPO), SMEs make up about 90 per cent of the world’s businesses, employ 50 per cent of the global workforce and generate up to 40 per cent of national income in emerging economies.

He noted that many innovators in Africa are yet to discover the importance of IP to their businesses.

‘To achieve optimal returns on innovations in SMEs, IP valuation is critical to develop the market, this year’s theme should be an eye opener to our finance institutions and insurance to design modalities of accepting IP as collateral, – trademarks, design rights, copyright, patents, trade secrets, and geographical indications, that can support you when taking your ideas to the market,” Akinwunmi added.

He stressed that the Nigerian IP hub should be given priority to discover various talents and ideas embedded in the country. He called on the Federal Government to see innovation as a serious business that should be focused on to protect various IP rights, boost the morale of inventors, entrepreneurs and other professionals for positive impact on the Gross Domestic Product and national income.

In cases where IP rights are infringed upon, he noted that Nigerian Copyrights Commission address such issues, along with Court of Arbitration and in cases where the issues are not resolved, they are passed to the Federal High Court.

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