LIPO Develop Strategic Plan to Enhance IP Regime

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LIPO acting Director General Theresa Thomas.

The newly-developed strategic work plan of the Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO) will focus on five thematic areas critical to the agency’s quest for making Liberia a knowledge-based country in a decade from now.

The strategic plan, according to LIPO’s acting Director General Theresa Thomas, focuses on thematic areas and on the establishment of creativity hubs, anti-piracy raid, extensive public awareness campaign and aims to strengthen the collective management organization (CMO) to become functional.

Madam Thomas explained that the creativity hubs, which will be established across the county, will create an environment where students and ordinary citizens can be inspired and motivated to explore their creativity.

“Very soon we will be working with students in Monrovia to start the pillar phase of the hubs. The anti-piracy raid is intended to reduce the rate of piracy by 80% in order to create an enabling environment for creativity to strive,” Thomas said, adding: “We are fully aware that the current high rate of piracy continues to deter potential creators from exploring their creativity as well as discouraging investors from investing in the creative industries.

“While the extensive public awareness campaign is currently ongoing, it is geared toward educating the general public about Intellectual Property; it’s beneficial and brings to light the negative effect of stealing someone else’s creation.”

She added the strengthening of the CMO is necessary, to help content creators benefit from their works through the form of royalties.

“It is about time our creators make money from their work. And the best way is through the CMO, which when functioning, can bring about long-term returns and investment for the creators. It is sad that they produce works and yet they cannot benefit from them,” LIPO DG said.

When quizzed about the availability of funds to implement such an ambitious five-year strategic plan, she said although funding is a major problem, the agency will execute the plan no matter the situation.

“Definitely, it is a huge plan.  But we are certain of positive outcomes. Matter of fact, we are going to do all we can to execute this plan properly in the timeframe stipulated. I’m hoping that the lawmakers will include something sizeable for us in this year FY 2018/2019 budget. We asked for something good and hope they give it.

“ No matter the situation, our goal is to make Liberia a knowledge-based country,” she said. “We already have plan B, just in case of any setback that will likely become a hindrance to the full execution of our plan.”

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