Liberia has been selected by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to host its annual Administrative and Ministerial Councils meetings — a major stride for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government on its aim at upholding the policies and laws of Intellectual Property (IP) and Trade.
The meeting, according to a press statement from the Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO), is the 43rd Administrative and 17th Ministerial Councils sessions. Scheduled to take place from November 18 to 22, 2019 at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County, the ARIPO meetings are also expected bring together over one hundred delegates from across ARIPO member states and its IP partners’ organizations.
ARIPO is a member-states driven Regional Intellectual Property organization, which facilitates cooperation among the member states to pull together scarce resources for the development, protection and advancement of Intellectual Property in Africa.
Currently, there are 19 participating member states of ARIPO, which include Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Kingdom of Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
A statement quoting P. Adelyn Cooper, LIPO Director-General, said that the selection of Liberia as a host country comes at a time when the country, through polices development and strategies, is making enormous efforts to promote positive image and value addition for economic rights, as a measure against infringement and other IP related offenses or crimes.
“Amid the challenges, we are working to improve the IP regime; and this meeting is a testament of the hard work we are doing to push Liberia on the map, as well as strengthening the fight against IP theft locally and internationally,” Atty. Cooper said.
The Minister of Commerce and LIPO Board chair, Wilson K. Tarpeh, said: “We are expected as a country, to benefit from improved image of our governance in upholding the rules and laws of IP, and overall commitment to the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This will also position Liberia through our offices to provide leadership guidance to ARIPO, as Chairman for both the Administrative and Ministerial Councils for the next two years.
Furthermore, during the meetings, the release added, council members will deliberate, and discuss the administrative aspects of ARIPO, its program of activities for the ensuing calendar, year taking into consideration reports from various statutory committees.
The release also added that that the meeting will be attended by observers from ARIPO cooperative partners, including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI), the Japan Patent Office, the State Intellectual Property office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China and the United States Patent Office (USPTO).
LIPO is a semi-autonomous agency in the Executive branch of government responsible for the promulgation, and development of polices that enhances the protection, commercial exploitation and enforcement of IP rights or property, which derives from the mind, within the bailiwick of Liberia.