The system will make patent registration easier
The Federal Government on Tuesday launched the first Intellectual Property Automated System, IPAS, in the country.
The system launched by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, represents a major milestone in the effort to transform the Nigerian industrial landscape.
The minister, who kicked off the IPAS at the Registry of Trademarks Patents and Designs of Nigeria in Abuja, said it was commendable that after 100 years of manual service, Nigeria was rolling out, for the first time, what would be the biggest IPAS system in Africa.
The minister said the IPAS, which went live on Tuesday, is a world acclaimed system of automated processing of applications for the registration of Trademarks Patents and Industrial Designs.
Describing the inauguration of the IPAS as a big milestone in the transformation agenda of the present administration, Mr. Aganga said the launch was even more significant as it was the first of its kind in 100 years.
With the Implementation of the IPAS, he said Nigeria would join 16 other countries, out of 53 in Africa, that have already deployed the service.
For investors, the minister said their services would not only be more efficient, quicker and cheaper, but also ensure transparency and accountability.
“The introduction of the IPAS will further improve and uplift the integrity and standards of all applications that emanate from Nigeria,” the minister said. “It will enhance the confidence of both the local and international communities and further encourage local and foreign direct investment in the country. This is about consumer and investment protection and it is a very good development for the country.”
He said the IPAS would equally enhance the quality of examinations, decisions and services offered to applicants and the general public, while better services would further improve the image of Nigeria.
While encouraging investors, international companies and the international community to register their industrial property asset, in line with international best practice, in Nigeria, the Director of Commercial Law, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Salman Mann, said the Nigerian public would benefit from a more efficient system, which would create wealth and more jobs for the people.
The Project Manager, World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, Hisham Fayed, said the IPAS would be the biggest in Africa, while the computerisation programme would help in improving the speed of the application for patents trademarks and industrial designs.
This will reflect on the quality of the service that will be provided to the applicants. It will also enhance the image of the ministry and that of Nigeria and give investors more confidence to come and invest in Nigeria, he noted.
Pointing out that the launch of the IPAS would complement the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan, Mr. Aganga said that apart from focusing on developing sectors, where Nigeria had comparative and competitive advantage, the plan would also target the creation of an enabling environment for industries by reducing the current major barriers to development.
He identified the enablers targeted by the NIRP to include finance, skills development, innovation, infrastructure, business environment, enforcement of adherence to standards, and increased local patronage.
The IPAS, he noted, would be particularly useful in the area of linking innovation and skills development to industrial development