Harare workshop highlights need to protect patents

Botswana was represented at the workshop held in Harare recently
Botswana was represented at the workshop held in Harare recently

In a bid to raise awareness on the need to protect patents, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation Project in Africa (AfrIPI) recently hosted a workshop on designs and utility models for ARIPO member states.

Among others, the workshop was meant to raise awareness, provide training and promote ARIPO’s regional system for registering designs and utility model trends in various ARIPO and European jurisdictions. Botswana was among the countries represented at the workshop. Keorutwe Baitsemi a trade examiner at the Companies and Intellectual Property (CIPA) and Kesupemang Pitlagano from the Botswana Institute of Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI) attended the meeting held in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The workshop was taken through a utility model, also known as a ‘petty patent’. While a patent requires complicated technical requirements to secure legal rights, a utility model is suitable for inventions involving less technical input. A utility model must be new and useful. Most utility models consist of technical improvements to products or processes that provide a practical use or new effects.

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