The House of Representatives has passed for a second reading, a Bill seeking to strengthen the legal protection of inventions such as patents, utility models, and designs in Nigeria.
The Bill sponsored by the member representing Ayedaade/Irewole/Isokan federal constituency of Osun State, Hon. Oluga Taiwo, also seeks to repeal the Patents Design Act of 1971 and re-enact the Patents and Designs Act, 2019, to bring about an upgrade in the body of laws governing patents, designs and utility models in the country.
The Bill was referred to the House Committee on Commerce for further legislative action.
Earlier, Oluga in her lead debate on the Bill noted that the 1971 Act does not recognise utility models as a type of patent or class of intellectual property in Nigeria.
This, according to her, is in contravention of the International Legal Instruments on Intellectual Property.
According to her, the Patent Bill was designed to enhance the quality of life of all Nigerians. It provides a comprehensive industrial/intellectual property system that protects innovations and creative expressions.
“It is a helpful pre-condition to creating and using new technology and therefore, it would boost economic growth and aid development. A strong system of intellectual property rights is indispensable to technological development and advancement.
“The current legal framework for the administration of Patents in Nigeria is not only outdated but also inadequate to meet the needs of the modern society. In the current age of international trade, Nigeria cannot afford to be Isolated neither is it insulated from world events.
“Therefore, the prospects of doing business in Nigeria should be at par with what obtains in other countries of the world by strengthening the intellectual property regime in Nigeria, through the instrumentality of this bill.
“The Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights that are conferred by law to an individual, enterprise, corporation or any Legal entity for the products of that individual, enterprise or Corporations or any legal entity for the product of his or its Intellects.
“In other words, the same way a person owns land or a person may own a car or any other item or property, the law provides for the protection of those tangible rights and ownership, provides protection and grants the individual exclusive rights to exploits the land or car in terms of selling it, renting it or exporting or importing a car or tangible asset, in the same way with intellectual property, the law provides protection for exclusive exploitation, assignment, transmission and the contracting-out of novel creations of the intellect,” Oluga argued.