The second edition of the Intellectual Property Law Symposium and Awards has come and gone but it will not be forgotten so soon, even as we remember the theme: Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights to Protect Innovators and Creators organized by Prestige Anchor International, a community based NGO in collaboration with Law Student Association of Nigeria, UNIABUJA Chapter (LAWSAN) and Intellectual Property Law Club, UNIABUJA held at New Law Theatre, University of Abuja, Gwagalada Mini Campus on Wednesday 18th September, 2019.
In attendance were over 400 students, law lecturers, intellectual property lawyers, law firms, and government bodies.
The event was anchored by Frank Justice, the Master of Ceremony and had in attendance Mr. John Asein – Director General of Nigeria Copyright Commission represented by Mr. Abdul-tah kohol – Director, Legal Department, Mr. Adedayo Thomas – Executive Director of Film and Censor Board, Barrister John Onyido, Esq – Partner Intellectual Property Law, (SPA Ajibade and Co), Barrister Uche Nwokocha – Partner, Aluko & Oyebode represented by Barrister Regina Onwumere – Associate, Aluko & Oyebode and Barrister Joke Aliu – Partner, Aluko & Oyebode, Barrister Clement Ighodarho Osuya – Senior Partner, Osuya & Osuya Law Firm, Barrister Igelige Rockson – Secretary Board of Trustees, Friends of the Creators Foundation, Barrister Afamefuna Nwokedi – Principal Partner and Group Head, Stillwaters Law Firm, Barrister Otu-Ekong Ukoyen – Senior Associate, Practice Lead, Brand Protection (Olajide Oyewole LLP), Barrister Bayo Adetomiwa – Solicitor, Matrix – Solicitors LLP, Mr. Adelana Olamilekan – Chairman and CEO, Zenith Carex International, Barrister Folarin Aluko – Managing Partner, Trumann Rockwood LP, RUMANN ROCKWOOD LP; Director of IPIN & IPLAN, NBA Chairman, Abuja Chapter, Emmanuel Ezehiwele – Serial Entrepreneur/Strategist, IEDI NIGERIA, Adebayo Nathaniel Ademola – Convener, IPL Symposium, Mohammed Zayyad Tijjani – President, IPLC, UniAbuja, Celestine Obinna Promise – LAWSAN President among others.
The Convener of the Symposium and CEO of Prestige Anchor International, Leader Adebayo Nathaniel Ademola welcome address bothered on deep appreciation to all present and IP shakers who are in the forefront of promoting IP, innovation and creativity in Nigeria.
The lead speaker of the event – Barrister John Onyido, Esq – Partner Intellectual Property Law, (SPA Ajibade and Co) spoke on Strengthening Intellectual Property Law to Protect Innovators and Creators.
According to him, in the 2019 edition of Global Innovation Index (GII), published by WIPO, Nigeria moved up two notches to the 116th position in the world ranking but still lags behind other African countries regarded as more innovative and presumably that adopt stronger and more effective mechanisms for IPR protection and enforcement.
Barrister John pointed out what Nigeria should be doing including the investment of the country on immediate initiatives like ensuring that our basic/enabling laws are brought up to date and in step with global trends as much as practicable.
He added that the next step is to articulate national innovation/IP policy goals and objectives, milestones and a clearly identifiable plan of action forming the national development policy along with other initiatives like the science and technology policy, the telecommunications policy, the education policy.
“One of the ways to advance effective policy goals is to set up a specific commission or agency charged with the responsibility for addressing the challenges in each sector. A good example is the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) which has accomplished several milestones in the Copyright sector. The IPCOM bill which has been pending now for a couple years before the legislative houses was meant to establish an industrial property commission to pursue certain sector-specific goals like the NCC does for the copyright industry”, John stated.
John said there’s a need to design a systematic process for teaching, training and supporting our creators and innovators, providing the necessary funding through the public and private sectors, providing legal support for the protection and enforcement of IPRs involving the training of law students, lawyers and judges on the fundamentals of IP law and enforcement, and on the drafting of statutes in the IP sector.
John called for the collaboration of the various agencies of government with a bearing on innovation and development in achieving our national goals in the near and long-term.
In conclusion, John advocated for the set-up of a committee to review the nation’s IP laws and policies every few years to evaluate their relevance to the overall economic and development objectives of the country.
“In the field of patents, we need to assemble technology experts and scientists to review and examine patent applications for usefulness and patentability. It is also necessary to establish a funding pool for supporting promising innovations and for commercializing these ideas and creations”, he concluded.
The second speaker, Barrister Uche Nwokocha – Partner, Aluko & Oyebode represented by Barrister Regina Onwumere – Associate, Aluko & Oyebode spoke on Understanding Intellectual Property, Opportunities and the Goldmines.
Regina spoke extensively on trademarks, copyright and patents while highlighting the opportunities in Intellectual property as IP Practitioner, In House IP Counsel, Counsel at IP regulatory bodies such as NAFDAC, NOTAP – (Nigerian Copyright Commission, Nigerian Custom Service, Industrial Property Office), Consultant for international IP Bodies (World Intellectual Property Organisation, African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation, Organisation Africaine de la Propriété intellectuelle), Advisers to Federal and State Governments on IPR issues.
The third speaker, Barrister Clement Ighodarho Osuya – Senior Partner, Osuya & Osuya Law Firm spoke on IP Awareness for Creators and Innovators and Lack of Responsiveness: A Case of Blocked Ears, Empty Pocket or Recklessness?.
Clement Ighodarho gave practical examples and perception to help promote innovators and creators regarding their intellectual property in Nigeria.
He advised the students to always be innovative, creative and cause paradigm shift In their immediate environment.
Barrister Rockson Igelige, Secretary of the BOT of FCF, who also won the Entertainment IP Lawyer of the year award said that internet fraudsters are major violators of intellectual property laws. He noted that speedy trial and punishment meted to violators would serve as deterrent and help in stemming the rising rate of internet fraud and intellectual property infringement cases.
“Intellectual property is all about what you create from your mind and with your brain which should come to your benefit. The world is now knowledge-based where people with ideas rule the world. In our clime, however, such people are denied the opportunity to reap the fruits of their knowledge because of piracy and fraud. The government, therefore, needs to streghten the enforcement procedure with modern equipment’s because we already have the laws on ground. We also need specialised IP courts just as we have election tribunals so that we can move forward and have enough judicial precedents on IP matters,” Rockson said.
The event featured panel discussion on the topic – Today’s Global Market and the Digital Economy: Do Local Innovators and Creators Stand a Chance under Nigeria’s Intellectual Property Laws?.
Thirty Two awards were presented to IP shakers, firms and individuals including:
- Rockson Akpotiri Igelige – Entertainment IP Lawyer of the Year
- Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya – Sport IP Lawyer of the Year
- Ms. Bolaji Gabari – Technology IP Lawyer of the Year
- Professor K.M Waziri – Lifetime Intellectual Property Law Achievement Award
- Olisa Agbakoba Legal – Intellectual Property Law Patent Firm of the Year
- SPA Ajibade & Co. – Intellectual Property Law Star Firm of the Year
- Aluko & Oyebode – Best Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year
- Infusion Lawyers – Intellectual Property Law Specialist of the Year
- Matrix-Solicitors LLP – Intellectual Property Law Consultancy Firm of the Year
- Alliance Law Firm – Intellectual Property Law Champion of the Year
- OSUYA & OSUYA LAW FIRM – Intellectual Property Law Team of the Year
IP DEVELOPMENT CATEGORY
- Stillwaters Law Firm – Intellectual Property Law Capacity and Mentorship firm of the Year
- IEDI NIGERIA – Best Entrepreneurial Mentorship and Innovation Advocate NGO of the Year.
- Zenith Carex International – Best Campus Friendly and Efficient Courier/Logistics Firm of the Year
- Amaka Okafor – IP Law Female Personality of the Year
- Afamefuna Nwokedi – Intellectual Property Law Advocate Lawyer of the Year
- Uche Nwokocha – Most Influential IP Woman Lawyer of the Year
- Mr. John Ohi Asein – Copyright and Creativity Activist of the Year Award
- David Olanrewaju Olaoluwa – IP Law Advocate of the Year
- Bayo Adetomiwa – IP Law Personality of the Year
- Otu-Ekong Ukoyen – In-House IP Counsel of the Year
- Adedayo Thomas – Intellectual Property Law Award of Excellence
- Gabriel O. Onojason – IP Law Personality of the Year
- Folarin Aluko – Award of Excellence in Intellectual Property Law
- Clement Ighodarho Osuya – IP Law Personality of the Year
- Aliyu Abdulmalik – Senior Citizen of IPL Club, UNIABUJA (SCICA)
- Unique Oliver – Best IP Law Club President of the Year
- Folakemi Collections – Most Innovative and Creative Brand in UNIABUJA
- Laura Aputazie Chinyere – Most Innovative and Creative Student in UNIABUJA
- Mohammed Zayyad Tijjani – Best Intellectual Property Club Member in UNIABUJA
- Celestine Obinna Promise – IP Club UNIABUJA Merit Award
- Afolabi Samuel – IP Club UNIABUJA Merit Award
The event also featured spark a brain speech, special speeches, remarks, performances and the unveiling of an innovative idea by Zenith Carex International meant to cater for students courier/logistics needs at no cost.
NLIPW News Reporter, Nathaniel Adebayo, who was present at the event, spoke with some of the participants who expressed their overwhelming happiness on how the event was organized and stressed the fact that they learned something new about IP from the day.