Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects

Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects

Afolayan Oluyinka Titilope (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/IJLIS.2020070103

Abstract

Intellectual property right protection is of growing importance in most countries of the world due to its role in the development of any nation. However, intellectual property rights protection in Nigeria has not yielded any positive results as expected due to the problem of weak enforcement and non-implementation of protection laws. In view of this, the main purpose of this article is to unravel the challenges militating against the protection of intellectual property rights of creators and inventors in Nigeria. This article further discusses the benefits of intellectual property rights protection. Challenges contributing to weak enforcement of intellectual property rights were also identified in this article. In conclusion, intellectual property rights protection in Nigeria should be given the highest priority by government to aid national development as well as promoting creativity and innovation on the part of creators and inventors.
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Introduction

Unarguably, protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) is of growing importance in many countries of the world due its significance in the social and economic life of any nation. In most developed nations of the world, intellectual property rights of creators and inventors are duly protected by law. The protection of intellectual properties assists government in curtailing the activities of violators, counterfeiters and imitators of intellectual works. By this measure, protection of IPR will foster economic growth for the Nation and value creation for intellectual works (Holland, 2017).

The protection of intellectual properties in many countries of the world has been implemented by their government through the enactment of dynamic and vibrant laws. These laws are reviewed regularly from time to time as a basis of addressing emerging and current issues in the operating environment. Undoubtedly, the protection of intellectual property rights of creators and inventors has attracted global attention, and this has been instrumental to the establishment of two global organizations set up to protecting intellectual properties in the world. These organizations are World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), International Forum for Reproduction Rights Organization. These organizations are responsible for overseeing the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights of creators and inventors across member countries. Apart from this, treaties and agreements have been established by these organizations involving several countries of the world, including Nigeria. For instance, Nigeria is a signatory to several treaties and international agreement such as Berne Convention, 1886, Universal Copyright Convention, 1952, Trade Related aspect of Intellectual Property Right and the World Intellectual Property Organization among others (Blackeney, 2008).

According to WIPO, Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce. Therefore, intellectual property rights can be described as a broad term that encompasses patents, trademarks, plant breeds, copyright trade secrets and other types of rights granted as a way of protecting creative efforts and knowledge creation. These rights are granted to safeguard creators and inventors interests and regulate the use of their products. By the granting of these rights, it creates a balance between the creators’ right and the right of the public in accessing the intellectual work. These rights are granted for a limited period of years depending on the type of intellectual property and the dictates of the law protecting its use. Intellectual property can be categorized into two: these are industrial property and copyright. Industrial property includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and geographic indicators; while copyrights include literary and artistic works such as novels, poems, plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, sculptures and architectural designs (Osunde, 2016).

The protection of intellectual property rights of creators and inventors in a country like Nigeria has been problematic in spite of the existence of regulatory frameworks. One then wonders why intellectual property rights of citizens are not adequately protected in Nigeria even in the face of a virile law. However, there are growing economic and social problems that are responsible for this occurrence. Unfortunately, these attendant problems have grave consequences on the nation’s development as well as violating the rights of creators and inventors.

In the light of the above, the aim of this paper is to identify the challenges militating the protection of intellectual property rights of creators and inventors in Nigeria. Also, prospects of protecting intellectual property rights for the Nigerian economy were discussed, and recommendations that would aid adequate protection of intellectual property were suggested.

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