Namibia Introduces New Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) Bill

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August 9, 2016 — A Bill, Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) Bill, has been introduced in Namibia’s Parliament to address challenges faced by owners of intellectual property.

BIPA will provide guidelines for the registration of various forms of businesses in Namibia. It will  provide guidelines Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) including trademarks, copyright, patents, industrial designs, and traditional knowledge.

The legislation was presented in the National Assembly by the Minister of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, Immanuel Ngatjizeko. According to him, IPRs need to be protected by law in order to enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invest or create. BIPA seeks to enhance the efficient protection of business and intellectual property in Namibia as well as recognize expressions of indigenous knowledge as an aspect of intellectual property.

The administration of industrial property, which includes trademarks, patents and industrial designs will fall under the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development while the copyrights will be administered by the Ministry of Information and Technology.

According to the Minister, Namibia is heeding recent calls by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to expedite the enactment of a Business and Intellectual Property Authority Act, as the current policy framework is weak and does not meet the challenges faced by owners of intellectual property.

Source: The Southern Times

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