Ethiopia Revamping Patent System to Encourage Invention Ecosystem, Foster Prosperity

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia is revamping the patent system, aiming to encourage globally competitive inventions and foster development and prosperity, according to the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority. Today, the European Patent Office and the authority organized a Symposium on Ethiopia's Patent Reforms; meeting with government, industry, and academic institutions. Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority Director-General Woldu Yemessel on the occasion said his authority is revamping the nation's patent system aiming to encourage globally competitive inventions and facilitate development and prosperity. Recognizing the crucial role of intellectual property in fostering innovation, the authority is actively collaborating with the European Patent Office to modernize Ethiopia's patent landscape. The authority's multifaceted reforms encompass revising the patent proclamation, establishing a framework for protecting traditional knowledge, developing a geospatial information proclamation, and crafting a Nat ional Intellectual Property Policy Strategy. These initiatives aim to create a robust and comprehensive intellectual property ecosystem that fosters creativity, protects inventors' rights, and attracts foreign investment, it was learned. European Patent Office has been supporting the authority to revise the patent proclamation and connecting Ethiopian universities with European patent system resources, he pointed out. So far, two Ethiopian universities are connected to these resources and eight more will be added to the list, he stated. To improve the patent system, the authority has embarked on a revision of the patent proclamation, a draft of traditional knowledge and geospatial proclamation, it was learned. European Patent Office Regional Desk Coordinator Nicholas Kornig said his office will continue to strengthen support to the authority to improve the patent system. The office is successful in the patent issues registration and will share that experience with Ethiopia, he added. Since its inceptio n, the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority has registered 658 patents. Justice State Minister Ermias Yemanebirhan said revising the patent law which was in effect for decades is crucial to encourage competitive innovations that drive the country's development plans. The reforms the authority has been undertaking are key instruments to improve the patent system in the country, he added. Innovation and Technology State Minister, Foziya Aliyi said innovation plays an irreplaceable role in making Digital Ethiopia a reality. The patent law that is being revised will bring the government's efforts in the sector to a higher level and will allow the creation of internationally accepted inventions, she noted. Creative owners and the country should also get the benefits they deserve from the sector in a proper way, Foziya added. The ongoing patent reforms and collaborative efforts with the European Patent Office hold immense potential to propel Ethiopia up the rankings and unlock its true innovation potenti al. Source: Ethiopian News Agency