A 5-days sub-regional workshop on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on National Phase Examination and Utilizing Work Products from Other National Phases organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and with the assistance of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) is being held at the ARIPO Secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe from 18-22 September, 2017.
“This workshop is essential for further promoting innovations and developing industries in Africa, to establish and improve intellectual property systems,” said Mr. Masao Goto, Director (Intellectual Property Rights), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) based in Dubai, U.A.E, and is the liaison for Japan Patent Office in Middle East and Africa.
“Appropriate protection of intellectual property in Africa will lead not only to encouraging investments in Africa by foreign countries including Japan, but also bringing out the distinctive potential of Africa. And this will also lead to driving sustainable economic growth in African countries,” He added.
He gave the objectives of the workshop as to enhance skills for work sharing on PCT; raise awareness so that such work products can be easily accessible through various platforms and tools and; to enhance confidence and readiness for using external examination work products with a view to improving efficiency and quality of national phase examination.
According to Mr. Ken-Ichiro Natsume, Director, PCT International Cooperation Division, Patents and Technology Sector at WIPO, everyone is looking at doing business in Africa.
He said that from 2005 to 2015 there was an increase of 3.1% of patents applications in Africa. This is much higher than the increasing ratio in Europe at 1% and the Oceania countries at 1.3%.
“This workshop is significant as the Examiners here will learn to tackle these patent applications,” added Mr Natsume.
The Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Fernando dos Santos thanked WIPO for sending a high level delegation of resource persons to lecture at the workshop. He added that the workshop is of paramount importance to ARIPO to help the organization and those being trained to understand the PCT system.
The other speakers at the worshop are Mr. Barnaby Hoyal, Senior Examiner, European Patent Organization and Mr. Lutz Mailander, Head, Cooperation on Examination and Training Section (PCT ICD) at WIPO.
There are 14 workshop participants from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda.