The need for awareness of Intellectual Property Law as it relates to how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on our daily lives and intending IP Lawyers in Nigeria is imperative in order to promote innovation and creativity in Nigeria. This prompted a non-governmental organization known as Prestige Anchor International, in conjunction with Law Students Bar Association, UNIBEN Chapter, to organize an Intellectual Property Law Symposium and IPL Award with theme – You and IP Law, The System That Promotes Creativity And Innovation.
The event was held at Ace Jural Court, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Edo State Nigeria on the August 31, 2018. In attendance were over 400 students, law lecturers of UNIBEN, intellectual property lawyers and law firms.
The event was anchored by Elijah Elaigwu, the Master of Ceremony. Other attendees included Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo (Co-founder/Chairman Board of Trustees of Friends of Creator Foundation represented by Barrister Rockson Igelige (Special Adviser to Dr. Ogaga), Barrister John Onyido, Esq – Partner Intellectual Property Law, (SPA Ajibade and Co), Barrister Tolu Olaloye – Senior Advocate, Intellectual Property (Jackson, Etti and Edu.), Barrister Otu-Ekong Ukoyen – Practice Lead, Brand Protection (Olajide Oyewole LLP.), Prof. N.A Inegbedion -Dean of Law Faculty, University of Benin, Dr. Mrs. Mobalaji Ezekiel – Senior Lecturer in the department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Dr. Eric Okojie – Associate Professor of Law, Dr. L Umoru – Senior Lecturer in the Department of Business Law, Dr. J.O Odion – Associate Professor and Acting HOD of Business Law, Comr. Komiti (LAWBA Chairman), Mr. Mackson Ode ( LOC Chairperson), Students of LAW UNIBEN and other faculties amongst 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 fore front of having innovation and creativity in Nigeria.
The LAWBA Chairman, Comrade Peter Komiti in his speech expressed great thanks to the organizers for having the First Ever IP Symposium in UNIBEN. Komiti went further to talk softly on IP and the need for a well-structured system in Nigeria.
The lead speaker of the event – Barrister John Onyido, Esq – Partner Intellectual Property Law, (SPA Ajibade and Co) spoke on IP Law – A system that Promotes Creativity and Innovation in Nigeria. According to him, IP system is a veritable tool for ensure the laborers sweat are sustained.
Barrister John stated that IP refers to unique, value-adding creations of the human intellect that results from human ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness. Intellectual Property has been historically categorized into two: Copyright and Industrial Property. Copyright covers the protection of literary and artistic works whilst Industrial Property covers industrial-applicable IP rights such as Trademarks, Patents and Designs.
The second speaker, Barrister Tolu Olaloye – Senior Advocate, Intellectual Property (Jackson, Etti and Edu.) spoke on – The relevance, opportunities of intellectual property law and the need for intending IP lawyers in Nigeria.
Barrister Tolu said that “IP plays an important role in facilitating the process of taking innovative technology and creativity to the market place. It enhances competitiveness of technology-based enterprises, whether such enterprises are commercializing new or improved products or providing service on the basis of new or improved technology”.
She added that every product or service that we use in our daily lives is the result of a long chain of big or small innovations, such as changes in designs, or improvements that make a product look or function the way it does today. e.g Ladislao biros, CD player, etc. She highlighted the relevance of IP below –
- IP helps the producer/manufacturer to market the product and develop a loyal clientele.
- Increases foreign direct investment, transfer of technology through patent etc.
- It inspires research and development.
- Intellectual commercialization results in huge revenue gain for companies.
- It is vital to all businesses and a source of securing competitive advantage in the market place
- It drives creativity and innovation in the 21st Century.
Barrister Tolu further highlighted the OPPORTUNITIES IN IP 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.
Speaking on the skills needed by intending lawyers, Barrister Tolu mentioned the skills as Meticulous, Attention-to-detail, Open-minded; ability to think Outside The Box, Vast knowledge base & exposure, Willingness to learn. Download Paper – The Relevance of IP, opportunities in IP and the need for intending IP lawyers in Nigeria (Tolu Olaloye)
The third speaker, Barrister Otu-Ekong Ukoyen – Practice Lead, Brand Protection (Olajide Oyewole LLP.) spoke on Counterfeiting, Infringement and Ideas Shifting: The need for brand protection. Barrister Otu introduction centered on what infringement, counterfeiting and idea shifting entails which dwells on manufacturing, selling and putting forward someone’s work without permission which has caused a huge and global problem in the world.
He added that 90% counterfeiting cases in Nigeria are taken down with settlement which do not create a ground for the development of the IP system in Nigeria. He further call on the need for brand to protect their ideas and innovations from being infringed upon.
The Dean of the faculty, Prof. N.A Inegbedion in his speech appreciated the organisers and all participates of the event. He added that the essence of this event is to give rise to awareness and build a lasting impact in the lives of the participates. He further talked on the establishment and inauguration of Business Law Section Club in the faculty which held few days back adding that the IP Symposium and Club will bring the students closer to opportunities and mentorship.
Barrister Rockson Igelige, the Special Adviser to the Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo (Co-founder/Chairman Board of Trustess of Friends of Creator Foundation) and the Secretary of the BOT of FCF in his speech spoke practically of cases he has handled relating to IP in Nigeria. He further said IP is like an oil well, when duly taken advantage of can greatly facilitate huge returns and infringers facing jury for trying to suck up innovators labor.
He further said IP Law covers studies into Event Management, Merchandising, Right to Publicity, and Right of Privacy among others. He concluded by admonishing law students to take the advantage of IP Law in order to promote creativity and innovation in Nigeria.
The event featured panel discussions where student’s questions and thoughts were cleared by the panelist.
Nine (9) awards were presented to IP shakers, firms and individuals including –
- Dr. Job Odion – Intellectual Property Law Lecturer of the Year
- Friends of the Creator Foundation – Best Intellectual Property and Creativity Advocacy Foundation of the Year
- SPA Ajibade & Co. – Intellectual Property Firm of the Year
- Olajide Oyewole LLP – Intellectual Property Advocacy Firm of the Year
- Jackson, Etti & Edu – Intellectual Property Specialist Firm of the Year
- Barrister John Onyido – Intellectual Property Advocate Lawyer of the Year
- Barrister Mrs. Sandra Oyewole – Intellectual Property Advocate Lawyer of the Year
- Barrister Tolu Olaloye – Intellectual Property Advocate Lawyer of the Year
- Senator Iyere Ihenyen – Intellectual Property Advocate Lawyer of the Year
The event also featured the Inauguration of IPL CLUB in UNIBEN which was anchored by Dr. Mrs. Mobalaji Ezekiel – Senior Lecturer in the department of Jurisprudence and International Law. The inaugurated executives are – Prince Okwe (President), Ebimobowei Tamunir (Secretary), and Ighosotu Christopher (Chief Communication Officer).
Mr. Mackson Ode, the LOC chairperson appreciated all present at the event and thanked the organisers for bringing this symposium in UNIBEN that has yielded a great side especially the IPL CLUB.
The event also feature performances by PETO and Xpella Amour and donation of IP books by Barrister John Onyido and SPA Ajibade to the Faculty of Law.
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.