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Roosevelt Gould: Liberia Needs IP to Realize Economic Growth

Roosevelt Gould, Director General of the Liberia Intellectual Property Office, has said the validated intellectual property strategic plan is a crosscutting document linked to diverse policy areas that will strengthen the country’s ability to realize economic growth in terms of GDP and human capital.

D.G. Gould added that the document encourages and facilitates useful creations, critical developments and the management and protection of IP at the national level, as well as providing support to creative industry societies.

The draft Intellectual Property Strategic Plan, which has been validated, is meant to be integrated into Liberia’s national development agenda to bring about investments, promote research, and create a culture of innovation.

Gould added that as the country fights to become a middle income country in about two decades, it cannot be achieved without innovation, which is an important tool for technological and economic development.

“Without an IPDA document, it is difficult for a country to stimulate and protect the results of indigenous creativity and innovation. With this document, government will encourage inventive activities; promote the development, exploitation and the commercialization of local inventions by providing the inventor with the relevant support; and public recognition of creators and inventors.

“Also, it creates incentives for people who come out with innovative ideas to solve problems facing society by protecting their rights, and not robbing them of the products of their minds.

“Additional, one of the benefits this document brings is the establishment of an innovation center to promote innovation and support innovators with the necessary funds.

“With this center, innovators and creative individuals will be able to receive special loans or subsidies and grants for development of certain inventions and innovations,” he said.

The LIPO D. G. said with this IPDA plan, government will now be in the position to ratify many intellectual property treaties like the ARIPO Swakopmund protocol on the protection of traditional knowledge, WIPO Copyright Treaty, and the Beijing Treaty for Audiovisual Performances, among many others - which are important treaties for the utilization of IP for economic growth and the development of the creative industry.

“These treaties come with lots of benefits, but the absence of these treaties not being ratified makes it difficult for the benefits to be realized,” he said. “This is why this document comes in to change the way things have been. The world is now being controlled by IP; and so, this IPDA plan will strengthen IP infrastructure for economic growth and lots more,” he added.

DG Gould said further that his vision is to make Liberia the leading IP hub in West Africa, which is possible through the implementation of the document that will foster creativity and innovation for economic growth and development on the continent.

Author: Robin L. C. Dopoe, Jr.

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