ARIPO continues to build the capacity of Member States in their management and administration of Intellectual Property (IP) rights through technology and online services utilization.
The 25th to the 27th of July 2023 saw a delegation from the Secretariat conducting an ARIPO online services sensitization workshop and Member States Moduleutilization sessions in Ghana. The ARIPO delegation led by the Acting Director of Business Transformation, Mr. Grey Njowola and Head of Formality Examination Mr. Charle Pundo, in collaboration with the Registrar General’s Department, hosted staff members of the National IP Office and local IP Agents, amongst other stakeholders within the national IP ecosystem.
ARIPO’s online services are meant to simplify the registration and granting of IP rights and to administer such grants or registrations on behalf of Contracting states to the Protocols.
Speaking on behalf of the ARIPO Director General at the start of the 3-day activity, Mr. Njowola reiterated the mandate of ARIPO and its commitment to creating a universal landscape that enables IP to thrive in the African Region. “As a regional body, ARIPO is always prepared to promote the use of available IP tools to advance technological development and innovation in its Member States and on the continent as a means to achieve sustainable socio-economic development and growth”, read Mr. Njowola.
In 2015, ARIPO’s IP Administration System, known as POLite+, was developed with the assistance of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) of the Government of the Republic of Korea, with the cooperation of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The project aimed to upgrade and modernise the ICT infrastructure of ARIPO and its Member States, and to align it with global best practices. The POLite+ system has facilitated thousands of online business processes, including online filing, online file inspection, online payments, instant sharing of notifications and documents as well as access to the ARIPO Industrial Property Journal.
The system for online services offers the Member States and agents modules that allow for instant exchange of communication between the Secretariat and the users.
In 2016, ARIPO took the initiative to attract more online filings by introducing a reduction of filing fees for applications filed online by 20%. The number of new applications filed online has steadily increased, and about 86% of all new applications in 2022 were filed online. These statistics show that most applicants have adopted the online filing system, which is convenient, faster, and easier to use.
Similar workshops are carried out each year in the ARIPO Member States to empower users of the systems to optimally exploit the facility for continuous learning, and offer improved support to innovators and creators.