Symposium on Ethiopia’s Patent Law Reforms

Symposium on Ethiopia’s Patent Law Reforms

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The European Patent Office (EPO) and the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority (EIPA) organized a Symposium on Ethiopia’s Patent Law Reforms on 29 January 2024 at Addis Ababa. Higher Government Officials, representatives of Industry and Academic Institutions attended.

In the welcoming remark Mr. Woldu Yemessel, Director General of EIPA mentioned that EPO and EIPA have been working to make reforms on the Ethiopia’s patent system including revising the patent law. The reform will enable to modernize the patent system of Ethiopia solve challenges in the area, he added.

Mr. Nicholas Körnig Regional Desk Coordinator, Team Africa, Latin America and ASEAN, EPO recalled a Memorandum of Understanding on Reinforced Partnership between the EIPA and EPO, signed on 28 April 2019 by the Heads of both Offices, and a two years’ Work plan for 2023-2025 detailing activities concluded last year and explained the context of the partnership.

Guest of Honor, Her Excellency Dr. Foziya Aliyi State Minister of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology addressed the need of cooperation and support to accomplish the reform plan and appreciated the ongoing support of EPO and the partnership with the EIPA.

The former Director General of EIPA and the now State Minister of the Ministry of Justice, His Excellency Dr. Ermias Yemanebirhan presented a paper on Ethiopian patent system and the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority. He emphasized the role of IP for the holistic development and explained achievements of the Authority in legal framework, capacity building, partnership and other elements.

From EPO, Mr. Nicholas Körnig made presentation on the Functioning of the Validation System, Prospects and Benefits for Ethiopia while Mr. Trod Lehong, European Patent Office Attaché to Africa discussed the role of the patent system in fostering innovation and technological development.

Dr. Tigist Gebrehiwot – LLD(UP), Director at Capital Business School, International Trade & Intellectual Property Law Consultant and Educator also explained the Importance of Joining WIPO Administered International Treaties such as Paris Convention, Madrid Protocol & Patent Co-operation Treaty for Ethiopia.

During the discussion led by Dr. Biruk Haile, Assistant Professor, School of Law Addis Ababa University, variety of issues were raised such as, human resource development, promotion and awareness, capacity to implement international treaties and national interest.

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