Acknowledging the need to use Intellectual Property (IP) as a tool for nurturing creativity, innovation and research in higher institutions of learning, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) is rededicating itself to equip faculty and students in these institutions with the requisite knowledge for excellence.
Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) Dr. John O. Asein gave the assurance at the inauguration of the IP Society of Baze University, which held at the school in Abuja, 9th August 2023.
The Director-General, represented by the Director, Nigerian Copyright Academy, Mr. Collins Nweke, also affirmed that the Commission will continue to provide IP students and enthusiasts with the requisite learning tools and capacity building opportunities to help them address emerging challenges in society.
Empowered by the new Copyright Act, 2022, the NCC is more than ever committed to the wide dissemination of IP knowledge through strategic collaborations with IP clubs, IP Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs), IP teachers and young lawyers across the country, he stated.
“We are committed to ensuring that the intellectual property system, particularly copyright, delivers maximum benefits to practitioners, investors and users in the IP related industries for the ultimate benefit of society and national economy. This is why the Commission readily supports the efforts of various stakeholders at all levels,” he stressed.
The Director-General also announced that the Commission has concluded plans to reward the best long essays and thesis on aspects of intellectual property. The competition, which will be at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels will be across all universities, starting with the Law Faculties. Awards, which will be for the best writings that are original, innovative and make significant contribution to the body of IP knowledge, is to encourage quality writing in the field of intellectual property.
According to him, the Commission, through the Annual competition, will also identify budding talents in the field of IP and mentor them to become top rate researchers that will help drive draw attention to the issues confronting IP and contribute to policy formulation. Entries for the competition will be drawn from submitted thesis and long essays from registered students in tertiary institutions. It will also be a way of rewarding originality in research and quality scholarship.
While commending Baze University and its IP Society, the Director, Nigerian Copyright Academy reassured the students that the Commission would be pleased to train and mentor its members on aspects of Copyright and the general field of IP.
The inauguration was also attended by several stakeholders in the industry, including the Director, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Nigeria Office, Dr. Oluwatobiloba Moody, officials from the Trade Mark Registry as well the Patent and Design Registry of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, IP law lecturers and students.
Speaking at the event, the President of the Society, Ms. Ufuoma Phoebe Madogwa, shared the society’s mission of “Protecting Innovation and Promoting Creativity,” aiming to foster a healthy culture of respect for IP and to nurture creative minds.
She expressed gratitude to the NCC, the school authorities and other stakeholders for their presence at the event and assured them of the executive team’s commitment to objectives of the Society and to contribute significantly to the growth of IP in Nigeria.
Mary Avoswahi Adegbile