Nigeria: WIPO to assist Universities

THE World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has indicated its readiness at strengthening the existing national capacities in the nations technology sector. This it said would be actualized by strengthening the Nigeria’s technology innovation centres with particular reference to the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) established by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in tertiary institutions and research centres across the country.

The Project coordinator of the Innovation and Technology Support Section of WIPO, Dr. Ituku Elangi Botoy, made the pledge when he visited the Director General of NOTAP, Engr. Umar Buba Bindir, in Abuja.

Dr.Botoy who was in Nigeria for project assessment mission restated WIPO resolve at ensuring that Nigeria is further empowered through capacity building to shore up her status as leading technology market in the Africa.

“Nigeria has the great potential of leading Africa in science and technology. For this reason, WIPO is keen in supporting technological innovations by assisting member countries in having access to WIPO specialized data base so as to acquire the million of technologies in digitized patents in up to 70,000 fields of technological endeavors.

“WIPO would render support to strengthen existing national capacities through the creation of Technology Innovation Support Centres (TISC), which I consider as digital libraries that comprise 70,000 specialized patents on-line.

“We train people to access and retrieve patent information. It is also a service provider,”said Botoy.

According to him, TISC would be established in the Nigerian universities not only to promote innovations but also to ensure that learning was linked to practical life and not just learning that was not applicable to real life situations as had been the case in third world countries.

Dr. Botoy explained that the patent system works through the protection mechanism which he described as territorial and limited by time as well as the disclosure mechanism which he described as global and not limited by time adding that WIPO lays more emphasis on the disclosure model.

He commended NOTAP for establishing the IPTTOs to promote technological innovations in the country and pledged WIPO’s preparedness to strengthen them in line with the objectives for the establishment of TISC.

Responding, the Director General of NOTAP, Engr. Bindir commended the WIPO for its determination in strengthening Nigeria’s innovations system through the proposed creation of TISC which he said shared the same objectives with the IPTTOs established by NOTAP. He added that NOTAP had funded the establishment of 29 IPTTOs and offered technical assistance for establishing a privately funded IPTTO. He furthermore requested the global body to incorporate the IPTTOs in its plan for implementation.

Engr. Bindir stressed the need for WIPO to involve all stakeholders, particularly the Patent Registry, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and NOTAP in its plans for the creation of TISC so that its efforts would be sustainable.

“TISC is a fantastic idea but if efforts were not made by WIPO to harness all stakeholders for its establishment, the project would not stand the test of time. The Patent Registry, NCC and NOTAP have to work in concert for the achievement of the desired result,” he said.

Source – Vanguard – by Emmanuel Elebeke