Liberia Gets New ‘Intellectual Property’ Law

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A new Intellectual Property Law, which aimed to prevent counterfeit in all sectors, including providing ownership of artistic works, inventions, academic research, among others, has been approved by the Legislature.

The Law would also spur innovation and creativity and help to create job opportunities.

The new Act, termed as the Liberia Intellectual Property Act, was passed on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, by the House of Representatives to concur with the Liberian Senate.

Lawmakers unanimously approved the Act owing to a report from the Joint Committee on Commerce and Industry and Judiciary, with Committee on Commerce and Industry serving as the lead Committee.

“The Liberia Intellectual Property Act will bring the country into full compliance with her international obligations,” River Gee District # 3 Representative, Charles K. Bardyl, Chairman on the lead Committee, said.

If President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signs the Act, it would effect the repeal of the Act Adopting the New Copyright Law of the Republic of Liberia approved on July 23, 1997 and the Industrial Property Act approved on March 20, 2003 constituting Title 24 of the Liberian

Code of Law Revised, and to enact in their stead a new title to be known as the Liberia Intellectual Property Act, 2014.

It may be recalled that on September 29, 2015 the Plenary of the House of Representatives, in an Extraordinary Session, mandated the Committees on Commerce and Industry and the Judiciary to advise on the Senate’s engrossed Bill No. 2 on the Act to repeal and adopt the new Copyright Law.

Meanwhile, in compliance with international obligations, the House of Representatives has also approved to amend the General Business Law to provide an efficient and free market system.

The Act includes amending the General Business Law, Title 14 of the Liberian Code of Law Revised, by adding Chapter 14, the Foreign Trade Law of Liberia.

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