(F) – Intellectual Property (IP) Management

PASAE-NIAE VIRTUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

High level Preconference Professional Development Workshop/Masterclass F

Theme:             Intellectual Property Management for Engineering Professional

Facilitators:      Dr Bindir, Former DG, NOTAP (Nigeria); Prof Emmanuel Bobobee (KNUST, Ghana), Mrs. Funke Araba, Retired Director, NOTAP and Dr. E. Okeriji, Director NOTAP

Date:               APRIL 19-22, 2021, 9.00 am to 3.30 pm

1.0 Introduction

Conceptually, intellectual property refers to creative works which are the products of human intellect. It covers a wide range of works such as printed materials, works of arts, scientific and technical inventions, research findings, business assets and models, agricultural innovations, and indigenous knowledge. These creations, inventions, or works are known as ‘intellectual property’ and the law relating to them is called ‘intellectual property law. Recently with the agreement to establish the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the field of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has gained significance at national as well as regional and international levels.  IPR is increasingly becoming central to trade, research and investment relationship between nations and regional economic blocks. This is evident in various IPR international instruments such as the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) which is under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Other international legal instruments on intellectual property that are under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have significant bearing on the national policies and legislative dimensions. At the regional level, there has been an increased emphasis on the need to have systems of intellectual property rights that are attuned to the specific conditions obtaining in a particular region. Regional organizations such as African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI), European Union (EU), and North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Countries are reshaping their approach in a bid to develop norms of intellectual property that are reflective of the needs and priority of their regions.

2.0 Justification and Rationale

The underlying justifications of the programme during the PASAE-NIAE conference are based on the following factors:

  1. There is acute shortage of competent human resources in the field of intellectual property in Africa.
  2. The increasing interface of intellectual property rights (IPR) issues in all areas of practice ranging from trade, research, health, agriculture, business, science and technology, and creative industries means that an understanding of various dimensions of intellectual property rights matters is a requisite competence to engineers, scientists, policy and law makers. Thus, this MasterClass during the PASAE-NIAE conference offers the opportunity to create awareness among African Agricultural Engineers to appreciate that IPR approach does not focus only on legal perspectives, but also business and technological dimensions.
  3. Agricultural engineers are in the frontline of creating innovations in the agricultural value chain and they need awareness creation and education to exploit these innovations that are the creations of their professional training and experiences.
  4. Recently, intellectual property issues have been at the centre of trade and investment negotiations between entities and states. The ability of countries to attract foreign direct investment have come to depend on, among other factors, a country’s ability and infrastructural base for the protection of intellectual property rights. Thus, creation of knowledgeable and critical mass of professionals on matters of intellectual property is crucial as a means through which institutions and countries will reposition themselves in the changing global market and business relationships.
  5. The on-going initiatives at ARIPO and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) to develop a defined framework for the protection of intellectual property rights calls for urgent training interventions by institutions and professional bodies to tailor programmes that respond to these new dynamics so that the necessary specialized human expertise in the field of intellectual property will be available on the continent.
  6. Furthermore, the rationale of the programme is footed on the fact that in these days of knowledge-based economy (KBE); the programme responds to the needs and dynamics of the time and offers the opportunities for student, engineers and other professionals to pursue new disciplines and extend frontiers of their professional practice. The programme will therefore create awareness among the pool of engineers and other experts to consider the contemporary challenges in present day knowledge-based economy from an international and socio-economic perspective to provide and articulate a well-informed advice to the government, businesses and individual entrepreneurs.

3.0 Objectives of the Programme

The main objective of the programme is to provide an introductory training and exposure to students, agricultural engineers and scientists to a wide array, dimensions, and interface of intellectual property policy and regulatory issues as they apply in a broad spectrum of societal developmental issues. The focus is to develop regional (West Africa and Africa as a whole) tailor-made programme that delves into the best IPR approaches that can be used taking into account the context of the region.

3.1. Specific Objectives

  1. To introduce participants to major pillars of IP and to equip them with substantive understanding and application of intellectual property rights at the local work places, national, regional and international levels.
  2. To enable participants, understand the protection mechanism and the various commercialisation options of the IP assets available to creators and users.
  3. To prepare the next generation of agricultural engineers to take the lead in the development of emerging innovations, and in participation and formulation of the appropriate policy and laws on intellectual property that reflect the context and level of development of a particular country.

4.0 The structure of the course

The course will cover the following topics

  • Importance of IP.
  • Origin of IPR system.
  • Theories of intellectual property regimes.
  • Socio-economic perspectives of IP.
  • Substantive and procedural distinctions of IPR regimes.
  • Developing IP level playing field: WIPO development agenda.
  • Case studies of patented innovations.
  • Introduction to the ARIPO-KNUST MPhil programme with focus on technology innovations and their relevance to ECOWAS sub-region.

5.0. Benefits to engineers

Agricultural Engineers are frontline scientists and professionals responsible for generating relevant innovations that will transform the agricultural landscape on the continent in line with Africa’s Agenda 2063, and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals ending in 2030. At the end of the training, participants will be more enlightened about the benefits of IPR to their work and employers.

Workshop F: Intellectual Property Management for Engineering Professionals

Presentation Plan

Topic (s)DescriptionSpeaker/FacilitatorTime Slot (WAT)Email & Tel Contact Address
Fundamental concepts in intellectual property rights and application to agribusiness and agro-technology innovations in AfricaDefinition and Importance of IP. Origin of IPR system. Case studies of patented innovations.  Prof. Emmanuel Bobobee, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.9.00 – 9.45 am (45 min)emmanuel.bobobee@gmail.com +233 24 543 1872
Introduction to the ARIPO-KNUST MPhil programme with focus on technology innovations and their relevance to Africa’s Agricultural transformation9.45 –10.30 am (45 min)
Break (15min)
Intellectual property regimes, and its role in the uptake and commercialization of inventions, innovations and other R&D outputsIntellectual property regimes, and its global dimensions, vis-à-vis the role of WIPO. Case studies of patented innovations  Engr Dr. Umar Bindir, Former Director General of NOTAP & Former Secretary to the Government of Adamawa State. Nigeria11.45am-2.30pm (45 min)ubindir@yahoo.com +234 803 315 6117  
The role of IPR in the process of commercialisation of Inventions, Innovations and other R&D outputs12.30 – 1.15 pm (45 min)
Break (15min)
Global and regional trade, socio-economic perspectives of Intellectual property in relation to the substantive and procedural distinctions of IPR regimes  Socio-economic perspectives of IP. Substantive and procedural distinctions of IPR regimes.Mrs Funke Araba, Retired Director, NOTAP1.30 – 2.15 pm (45 min)+234 805 594 2766
Substantive and procedural distinctions of IPR regimes. Case studies of patented innovationsDr. E. Okejiri, Director, NOTAP2.15 – 3.00 pm (45 min)+234 803 330 2166

NOTAP – National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion; WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization