The Liberia Intellectual property Office has completed it validation workshop with stakeholders on the draft Intellectual Property strategic plan that is meant to be integrated into national development agenda
The document validated yesterday through a workshop in Monrovia aimed at encouraging and facilitating useful creations, critical developments and management and the protection of IP at the national level, as well as providing support to creative industry societies.
The Intellectual Property Development Plan (IPDA) document is a crosscutting one which is linked with diverse policy areas to ensure effective coordination with other activities that strengthens the country’s ability to generate economic growth, both in terms of GDP and human capital from IP.
LIPO Director General Roosevelt Gould said the IPDA document, if absorbed into a nation’s development agenda, will lead to investments, promote research, and create a culture of innovation.
Gould added that as the country fights to become a middle income country in about two decades from, that cannot be achieved without innovation, which is an important tool for technological and economic development.
“Without an IPDA document, it is difficult for a country to stimulate and protect the results of indigenous creativity and innovation.
“With this document, government will encourage inventive activity; promote the development, exploitation and the commercialization of local inventions by providing the inventor with the relevant support; and the public recognition of creators and inventors.
“One of the benefits this document brings is the establishment of an innovation center to promote innovation and support innovators with the necessary funds,” Gould said. “With this center, innovators and creative individuals will be able to receive special loans or subsidies and grants for development of certain inventions and innovations.”
The LIPO Director General said with this IPDA plan, government will now be in the position to ratify lots of intellectual property treaties like the ARIPO Swakopmund protocol on the protection of traditional Knowledge, WIPO Copyright Treaty, and Beijing Treaty for Audiovisual Performances, and lots more – which are important treaties for the utilization of IP for economic growth and development of creative industry.
“These treaties come with lots of benefits, but in the absence of these treaties not being ratified makes it difficult for the benefits to be realized,” he said. “This is why this document comes in to change the way things have been. The world is now being controlled by IP, and so, this IPDA plan will strengthen IP infrastructure for economic growth and lots more.
“My vision is to make Liberia the hub of innovation and the creative art, which is possible through this document,” Gould said.
Gould said this strategic document will be used as a roadmap for systematic input of the citizens in the achievement of its goal, in order to make Liberia a hotspot of creativity in Africa.