Monday, 12 September 2011

A to Z of African official IP websites: no. 12: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Afro-IP's A-to-Z series of visits to the official IP websites of African states started going from bad to worse and now seem to be trailing along at rock bottom.  On behalf of Afro-IP, Kingsley Egbuonu has travelled through cyberspace from Côte d'Ivoire to the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- where the position is equally bleak.


Overview
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a contracting party to most international (including regional) agreements on the protection of intellectual property rights. At national level, the main IP laws are: the Ordinance-Law No. 86-033 of 5 April 1986 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights (1986) and the Industrial property. Law No. 82-001 of January 7, 1982.
 Copyright Office

  • The Secretariat General of Culture, Directorate of Research, Planning and International Cultural Relations under the Ministry of Culture and the Arts, is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in DRC.
  • Currently, this office has no web presence.
 Industrial Property Office

  • The Directorate of Industrial Property, Secretariat for industry and small and medium enterprises (IPMEA) under the Ministry of Industry and SMEs is responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in DRC.
  • Currently, this office has no web presence.
 Conclusion
Like most developing countries, DRC lacks a strong, bespoke regime for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs). But, considering its recent history of armed conflict, the current state of affairs can be excused – and it is fair that reasonable time should be allowed for it to comply with requisite standards.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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