URSB tips SMEs on how to exploit their creativity

The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Registrar General, Mercy Kainobwisho underscored the role of intellectual property policy in nurturing innovation for the social-economic development of the country.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, inventions, literary, and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce and is divided into industrial property and copyright.

Whereas industrial property includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source,  copyright on the other hand includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.

Speaking during a virtual presentation, Kainobwisho said intellectual property is a product of innovation which is tied to the country’s strategic objective to propel Uganda to the middle-income status.

“Intellectual property is one of the single largest opportunities for companies to increase strategic business value, create new business opportunities, and accelerate barriers to entry for competitors. IP represents a significant, untapped opportunity for revenue generation,” Kainobwisho said.

“Business enterprises irrespective of size must be innovative to remain relevant and competitive locally and regionally. However, innovators need to protect their intellectual property in order to gain from their creativity.”

According to the URSB Registrar General, intellectual property supports the transformation of the economy through the harnessing of benefits accrued to rights holders such as creating opportunities for employment of the youth and providing solutions through commercialization of innovations.

To support intellectual property growth across the country, Cabinet in May 2019 approved the National Intellectual Property Policy whose objective is to stimulate and nurture innovation and creativity for the socio-economic development of the country.

The policy also aims at facilitating integration of intellectual property into national priority sectors and programs towards realization of national development goals.

The Registrar General also outlined the pivotal role the national intellectual property policy will play in promoting intellectual property as a tool for all-inclusive transformation of academia, creative, informal, public and private sectors of the national economy.

“The government of Uganda is well aware of the benefits and role that Intellectual Property can play to accelerate the socio-economic development of our country. The passing of the national IP policy aimed at stimulating effective and strategic use of intellectual property in all sectors in order to attain rapid economic development,” Kainobwisho added.

She also tipped inventors on how they can promote their innovations, the need to protect intellectual property creations through trademarking, copyrighting and other related rights.

Innovators were also tipped on how to address challenges created by violation of intellectual property for ICT innovators, empowering them to safeguard their products and promoting the transfer of technology through patents.

According to Kianobwisho, URSB is undertaking more engagements under their ‘innovation series’ to explain further how SMEs can enhance their businesses through exploiting the full benefits of their intellectual property.

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