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Nigerian national workshop on TRIPS

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Published Date: June 18, 2024

From 28 to 30 May 2024 a national workshop on the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS), organised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria was held at the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, in Abuja.

Although Nigeria has been a signatory to the TRIPS Agreement since January 1995, there has not been domestication, through express inclusion in national legislation, of the provisions of the Agreement.

The workshop was organised to sensitize and educate Nigerians, particularly IP stakeholders and staff members of the trade mark and patent and designs Registries, on the salient provisions of the TRIPS agreement.

There were detailed discussions on the provisions of the TRIPS agreement as applicable to the local ecosystem regarding the provisions of the Nigerian IP laws by the speakers and the panellists in the course of the workshop.

The first day of the workshop covered trade marks, what subject matter is protected, three dimensional trade marks, traditional and non-traditional trade marks, distinctiveness, grounds for refusals, collective and certification trade marks, and a brief discussion on geographical indications. The first day also saw discussions regarding patent protection in Nigeria, with a presentation covering the issues of patents, trade secrets and undisclosed information under TRIPS, TRIPS and public health, flexibilities in the TRIPS agreement relevant to access to medicines, the TRIPS special compulsory licence system, and access to medicines and intellectual property in Nigeria.

The second day of the workshop covered a number of topics, including genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, copyright and related rights provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, and provisions relating to biodiversity and biotechnology patents under the TRIPS Agreement.

Day threeof the workshop focused on enforcement of IP rights under the TRIPS Agreement and the status and issues regarding IP enforcement in Nigeria. There were three panel discussions on traditional knowledge, biodiversity and biotechnology, exploring the options for Nigeria on the implementation of the national IP policy, and anti-counterfeit measures, analysing IP and enforcement procedures. Prior to the last panel discussion, there was a presentation on the practical issues on counterfeiting and anti-counterfeiting measures.

From extreme right, Lydia Yohanna, Custom Officer; Ms. Khan WTO; Barr Okeke Christian, Patents Registry; Ms. Kadiri NAFDAC; Regina O, ALN Aluko & Oyebode; Mr Wolf, WTO; Ms. Ann Adeleye, Assistant Chief Registrar, Trade marks Registry; Mr Collins Nweke, a Director at the Nigerian Copyrights Academy; Mr Temitope, Trade mark Registry; Marx Ikongbeh, IP lawyer.

Source: Report from local associated office, Aluko & Oyebode

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