By Wallace Mawire
Twelve African countries have had their information on Intellectual
Property (IP) published on the newly launched African Regional
Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) regional IP database
launched in Harare, Zimbabwe at the ARIPO headquarters on 10
Officially launching the regional IP database, ARIPO Director
General, Fernando Dos Santos said that the regional database enables
users to centrally view all published titles in the ARIPO region. He
The regional IP database was launched with information from ARIPO,
Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda,
Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“The regional database is designed to serve multiple purposes,
including on-line provision of published IP data, encouragement of
regional trade, IP scientific research, IP rights protection and
enforcement in the ARIPO region, as well as sustainable development of
IP,” Dos Santos said.
He added that ARIPO was utilizing ICT tools to establish their
presence in global intellectual property and to foster creativity and
innovation for economic growth and development in Africa.
It is also reported that ARIPO has embarked on a number of ICT
projects taking advantage of the ICT tools available to provide
efficiency in IP business processing, support the availability of IP
information, encourage IP scientific research and IP rights protection
“The launch of the regional IP database is a result of hard work put
in by the ARIPO secretariat and member states and support from
cooperating partners,” Dos Santos said.
According to Dos Santos, the project proposal for the creation of
a regional database for published IP titles of the ARIPO office and
those of its member states was presented and approved at the 38th
session of the administrative council of ARIPO held in Victoria Falls,
Zimbabwe in 2014.The main objective was for ARIPO to create a
centralized database for its published IP titles and those of its
Also the development of the database has been done with support from
the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) who are reported
to have provided the software for the database and assisted with the
extraction of published IP data from the IPAS system in the member
states through the Japan Funds-in-Trust for Industrial Property.
Dos Santos urged member states to fully utilize the ARIPO regional
IP database and to continue working with ARIPO to improve the use and
uptake of intellectual property increasing the number of local and
regional applications which are reported to be still very low.
He said that according to WIPO, Africa as a whole accounted for only
0,6% of the total applications filed internationally.