Intellectual property being reduced more to brand copyright protection

The Guardian
Published at 11:05 AM May 10 2024
Internet User
Photo: File
Internet User

WITH lots of what humankind might want to see discovered having been created, each African country is beset with devising its own intellectual property regulatory format to ensure peace between different stakeholders in the design and sell marketplace.

The notion of intellectual property is moving from industrial and scientific discovery or innovation, to the ownership of lyrics, brand signs or passwords, and perhaps sounds or grunts.

With digital equipment aiding, fine details of how songs or just lines are created, and could bear some resemblance to someone else’s work. It is in this sphere where contests of intellectual property are often heard, much less in academia or commodity brands.

World trade experience shows that newcomers have a habit of picking up names of well-known brands to push goods that were not perhaps sufficiently out of their trial phase but they are given out as new commodities bearing the name of a familiar brand.

This kind of imitation destroys original brands for faulty goods that pose as familiar brands. That was before some newcomers to international trade were properly integrated and has tended to disappear over the past two or even three decades.

That is why intellectual property contests tend to focus on adaptations or twisting signs of a brand, as it also pays.

Just what is being done at the local level was the subject of a familiarisation seminar for the World Intellectual Property Day (April 26), with the high-flung thematic slogan, of ‘Intellectual property: Building our Common Future with Innovation and Creativity’.

Whether that is an overall global slogan or it was also usable at the national level wasn’t clear, for it is one thing to talk about global innovation and creativity in how it impacts African countries for that matter.

It is another thing to belabour the issue of local innovation or creativity and how it may impact lives, and especially in relation to productivity.

The ministerial agency looking at that aspect of industry and registration issues, where brands and their particulars are part of intellectual property, has decided to come up with a campaign to familiarise students and others, after realising the low level of awareness of those issues.

That is of course unhealthy as someone might proceed with a mental creation by inspiration from somewhere, unaware that there is a company or estate owning that intellectual input from where hid idea came from.

It implies that ignorance of property issues could occasion losses to individuals, and it could be worse it could be institutions embarking on research, committing funds and then just being upended.

The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) and the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (Brela) have been making efforts to reach innovators of various technologies after the commission hacked various innovation efforts.

There are technologies brought up by youths in different institutions, counting 25 youth technology applications altogether. They are all designed to solve one or other social problem, with ability to showcase such innovations via online exposure being an addition - to get market opening.

The public might not hear much of such innovations, but it is helpful in that youths can make even drones.