Accra, Ghana — Ghana recently launched a National Intellectual Property policy to protect local innovations, inventions, creators and user of IP. The Policy, which was launched in partnership with the Swiss Federation seeks to establish a functional and sustainable property system in Ghana. Speaking during the launch, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said that the government recognised IP rights as a powerful catalyst within national economies and, therefore, would continue to look for opportunities to modernise and strengthen the systems for the protection, administration, promotion, commercialisation and enforcement of such rights.
He said that Ghana had the potential of establishing new brands for fruits, cocoa, beans and shea butter for export and a strong and balanced IP rights system that encouraged technology transfer, research and development and the building of local brands would have a positive impact on the economy.
While the long term goal of the policy is to exploit intellectual property rights for accelerated growth in technological and industrial development in Ghana, the policy includes specific objectives including: To strengthen the legal framework for protection of Intellectual Property (IP) rights; strengthen the institutional framework for the administration and management of IP rights; promote creativity and innovation to enhance IP generating activities in Ghana; promote and facilitate commercial exploitation of IP rights and technology transfer; strengthen legal and institutional framework for enforcement of IP rights; develop adequate human resource capacity in the administration, protection, commercialisation and enforcement of IP rights; create public awareness on IP issues for the general public and identifiable groups etc.
In her address, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, talked about Ghana’s previous commitment to the protection of IP rights including its enactment of several laws such as the Trade Marks Act, 2004 (ACT 664), Copyrights Act, 2005 (Act 690) and the Patents Act 2003, Act (657). She stated that the laws relating to traditional knowledge and genetic resources, as well as plant variety protections, were also being enacted.