To ensure better protection of intellectual property (IP) and economic growth and competitiveness, as well as encourage innovation, the Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO) is expected to launch the first web portal for online filing of IP registrations for all art related works in the country.
The launch, which will take place on Friday, December 14, will allow businesses and other stakeholders, including creatives, to register of their respective trademarks, patents, and copyrights online.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, December 11, Director General, Atty. P. Adelyn Cooper said the facility would also enable online application filing and tracking system, complete validation of trademarks data and an online search of trademark database and Liberia’s 2016 IP law.
“We called you here today to inform you of the launch of LIPO official website and newsletter, a great initiative undertaken by this institution to promote, safeguard and create awareness on IP,” she said.
The coming forth of this web portal, according to Atty. Cooper, will foster awareness of the basics and importance of IP through the posting of the country’s IP law online.
She said the step will positively impact the IP ecosystem of Liberia, and it is a step forward in educating citizens about their rights and the potential to exploit the power of IP at its best.
“The move to transit from paper to online registration comes with lots of benefits which include enhancing and fast-tracking IP registration process and the online database that will handle the publication of IP titles for the public,” says Atty. Cooper.
Atty. Cooper, the former acting director for Felonious Crimes at the Ministry of Justice, emphasized that the IP database will be free and provide easy access for research by IP agents and anyone who wishes to find information or register a patent, industrial design or trademark. The database will also serve multiple purposes including IP research and IP rights protection.
Atty. Cooper added, “The website portal is intended to protect local innovation, invention, creators, and users of IP rights. At LIPO we are utilizing ICT tools to establish our presence in global intellectual property to foster creativity for economic growth and development in Liberia.
“We have embarked on a lot of information and communications technology (ICT) projects to provide time-saving IP business processing, support the availability of IP information and to encourage IP rights protection and to create a functional and sustainable IP system in Liberia.”
She said LIPO is also initiating the mobile money transactions where applicants will pay their registration fees through Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
The Liberia Intellectual Property Office is a merger of the Liberia Industrial Property and the Liberia Copyright offices. LIPO is responsible for the formulation of policies on intellectual property rights and/or intellectual property regulations and to grant applications for patents including utility models, copyright-related rights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications; and layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits, among others.