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Rwanda intensifies efforts to enhance Intellectual Property awareness

Xinhua, April 21, 2017 Adjust font size:

Rwanda has intensified the awareness campaign on intellectual property rights among creative and innovative industries especially investors, universities, research institutions and the general public, an official said Friday.

Addressing a news conference in Kigali, Louise Kanyonga, Registrar-General at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said the campaign comes as innovators have not fully understood the benefits accruing from protecting their copyrights.

"Innovators are not aware of piracy, counterfeiting and all unauthorized uses of their intellectual property which limit the potential of their products to be competitive. We have embarked on raising awareness, because Rwandans have a low IP awareness and the way it is generated is not sustainable," she said.

Kanyonga noted that with the globalization of the world economy, African countries are finding that maintaining competitiveness is a critical factor in development.

Although Rwanda has seen some growth in terms of copyright laws applications, the contribution is still negligible, compared to the global patent applications, according to RDB.

Rwanda is part of a number of international treaties and platforms on intellectual property also obliging to international principles.

She said that to obtain protection for IP, people must register it with RDB's intellectual property office. IP rights registration gives products the strongest protection against unauthorized use, copying or infringements.

The Intellectual Property Law of 2009 categorizes intellectual property rights in Rwanda into two main types: Industrial property and Copyright. Some of the rights that fall under industrial property are: Patents, Utility models, Industrial Designs, Trademarks.

Copyright covers literary and artistic works such as musical works, dramatic works, audio visual works, works of art, photography, works of architecture, computer programs, handcrafts and folklore. Endit