Monday, 16 April 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.44: Somalia

The 44th stop on Afro-IP's tour of official African intellectual property websites takes Kingsley Egbuonu to war-torn Somalia, where the prospect of peace and ensuing stability is something for which we all fervently hope and pray.
Overview

The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Lusaka Agreement on the Creation of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) are two significant intellectual property treaties currently ratified by Somalia. The latter grants it membership.

Copyright Office

• The Copyright Office (Ministry of Culture and Higher Education) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Somalia. 
• The office has no website.

Industrial Property Office

• The Patents and Trade Marks Office (Ministry of Industry) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in Somalia. 
• This office has no website.

Social Media Presence

None

Intellectual Property update in Somalia

None

Conclusion

Afro-IP often comes across misinformation in respect of the state of intellectual property system in certain countries in Africa. The current state of affairs is that Somalia is neither a member of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) , nor a party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Like country no:43 (Sierra Leone), Somalia has face major problems in consequence of its civil war, and the same sense of measure and caution expressed for that country applies here too.

Afro-IP can only wish the Transitional Federal Government all the best in ensuring political stability in Somalia. With stability, Somalia can move on again to play its part in the international community – including membership of the WTO and ratifying related treaties which encourage foreign direct investment and IP.

Despite the constant sad headlines, there is some positive news of progress in Somalia reported here by the BBC.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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