Intellectual Property (IP) plays an important role in innovation. Knowing how and when to protect your invention, design or brand name can save you a lot of time and money.
UNDERSTANDING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Intellectual Property refers to creations of the mind, inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications, and literary, and artistic works among others.
IP creates exclusive rights that protect the interests of creators by giving them property rights over their creations. IP rights are important in the protection and promotion of IP because they encourage creativity and innovation. By protecting your creation, you may gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, enabling you to proﬁt and grow your business.
Learn more about the diﬀerent types of intangible creations of the human intellect by referring to listed WIPO publications;
1. Ministry of Trade and Industry plays an important role as the lead agency for policy-making and legislative development on IP.
2. Rwanda Development Board (Oﬃce of the Registrar General): The Oﬃce of the Registrar General has IP department which administers IP on a daily basis. The administration of IP rights covers a number of activities:
3. National Police, Customs Department/Rwanda Revenue and Courts of Law (Commercial courts): The three institutions are responsible for enforcement of IP rights. The main objective of acquiring IP protection is to enable an SME or an innovator to reap the fruits of its/his/her creations which resulted in IP rights. Intellectual property assets can only lead to beneﬁts when the acquired intellectual property rights can be enforced, otherwise, infringers and counterfeiters will always take advantage of the absence of eﬀective enforcement mechanisms to beneﬁt from the hard work created. Therefore, enforcement of IP rights is essential in order to:
NIRDA’S SUPPORT FOR INNOVATORS AND ENTERPRISES