High registration fee hindering MSMEs participation in intellectual property law in Nigeria ― SMEDAN

•Calls for awareness to enhance value of products

The Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has lamented that the high cost of the registration fee is preventing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from benefitting from the enhanced value that intellectual property law offers businesses.

Speaking in Abuja, Director General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, stressed the need for SMEs to be sensitised on the importance of IP ( Intellectual Property) to enhance the value of their enterprises.

In preparatory to commemorate the 2021 World Intellectual Property Day, Radda lamented that most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), across the country are not aware of the importance of enhancing the value of their products, services and processes.

The DG, therefore, urged relevant agencies with the statutory function in the administration of IP to be easily accessible by moving closer to the SMEs.

“Examples of intellectual property include music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs.”

He further explained that under the intellectual property laws, owners of intellectual property are granted certain exclusive rights.

Radda further explained that some common types of intellectual property rights (IPR) are copyright, patents, and industrial design rights; and the rights that protect trademarks, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.

He called on stakeholders and the media to do more in creating awareness of the importance of intellectual property particularly in protecting product value.

On his part, the Ag. Head, World Intellectual Property Organisation ( WIPO) Nigeria office, Mr Oluwatobiloba Moody noted that, the WIPD 2021 provides an important moment to shine a light on the critical role of SMEs in Nigeria and the opportunities for these important actors to particularly use IP to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.

He reaffirmed that SMEs are the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, noting that SMEs makeup around 90 per cent of the world’s businesses, employ around 50 per cent of the global workforce and generate up to 40 per cent of national income in many emerging economies.

The World will celebrate Intellectual Property Day on the 26th of April, 2021.

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