Transformation of Uganda into a modern, prosperous society as laid out by the National Development Plan III will largely depend on how fast Uganda can harness, protect and utilize intellectual property, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Registrar General Mercy Kainobwisho has said.
According to her, intellectual property should be utilized in a manner that encourages innovation and creativity.
“Intellectual Property supports the transformation of the economy through harnessing of the benefits accrued to rights holders such as creating opportunities for employment of the youth and providing solutions through commercialization of innovations,” said Kainobwisho.
She said this at Uganda Media Center on 4th August while addressing journalists about the forthcoming Africa Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO) conference. The conference will take place from 20th to 28th August, 2021 at the Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo.
The Registrar General said URSB continues to sensitize the public about intellectual property protection and established an enforcement unit comprised of 4 Police Officers to address issues of piracy and infringement of Right holders works.
“The adoption of the protocol will encourage the Right holders to voluntarily register their copyright and related works providing URSB with a database of registered works and easing the process of enforcement in cases of piracy.”
She added: “Realization of the objectives of the National IP Policy 2019 is very key. URSB has been engaging all stakeholders and providing knowledge needed as part of the implementation process.”
It should be noted that Cabinet approved and passed the National Intellectual Property Policy in May 2019, and it was officially launched by President Yoweri Museveni in September 2020.
In realization of the objectives of the National IP Policy 2019 is very key. URSB has been engaging all stakeholders and providing knowledge needed as part of the implementation process.
About the conference, Kainobwisho said that the conference will be hybrid in nature with some participants attending virtually and others physically. She added that a series of meetings will be held inclusive of the Extraordinary Session of the Administrative Council, an Experts engagement and the Diplomatic Conference at where the draft protocol on voluntary registration of copyright and related rights will be tabled.
“Adoption of this protocol in Kampala gives visibility to Uganda and is also in line with the Government’s sustained plans to grow intellectual property & related rights for economic growth.”
The Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi said it is very timely for Uganda to host the conference on copyright because the outlook is changing and the choices of employment are also different.
“We have a young population that has devoted itself to the arts and creativity industry. Through adoption of this protocol, Ugandans shall be able to have their works registered and protected internationally, benefit and earn from their works,” he said.
Kafuuzi explained that the Copyright industry is very diverse involving works of literary and artistic nature. He said copyright protection in Uganda doesn’t require a right holder to register because Protection is automatic once the work is produced in a tangible form.
“However, this in itself has many limitations. A number of rights holders have complained of pirating of their works and usually lose the morale to follow up on prosecuting those practicing this demoralizing act of piracy,” said Kafuuzi.