Efforts Continue For Intellectual Property Law…Liberia To Become Member Of WTO

Following years of relentless efforts by government, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the oversight Ministry responsible for Intellectual PropertyMatters, is overcoming one of its major objectives within the framework of the Liberia Intellectual Property Development Plan (IPDP).

The IPDP was endorsed by the Government of Liberia and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2008.

It was under the leadership of the then Commerce Minister, Olubanke King Akerele who in fact negotiated for such plan, a release said.

The release further noted that Mr. Axel Addy present Minister of Commerce and Industry later picked up this mantle at a crucial stage, and now that the accession process to WTO is nearing fruition it is a must that the IP Law be is in conformity with this process because of the Trade Related Aspects (TRIPS).

The release noted that the IPDP contains programs which include the immediate transfer of belongings of the Industrial Property Office from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Industrial Property Office in order to cope with International standards and local Legislations as was the case of the Copyright Office.

It also includes the formation of the National Collective Societies including the various Literary and Artistic Unions and Associations to ensure that they are protected and earn income through royalties.

The release named as part the formation of the Collective Management Organization within the Copyright Office of Liberia to ensure that Literary and Artistic Artists benefit from the airtime utilization of their works by broadcasting stations and centers of hospitality (Hotel, Motel, Guest Houses, Bars, Restaurants, etc.) ; (Public Performance Rights).

It also includes the amalgamation of the Copyright and Industrial Property Offices to encourage as per international Standards, proper coordination to ensure protection of Literary and Artistic Artists and innovators, inventors and the enhancement of government’s revenue collection from income earned from the sale of IP works.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee, Senator James Tornnolah has assured that the committee will ensure that the intellectual property documents would be signed as they are aware of the expected benefit to be accrued from the domestication of WIPO and ARIPO Convention, protocols and Treaties and the new amended IP law. See full text of the Commerce Ministry’s release inside.