Sunday, 10 June 2012

A to Z of official African websites no.52: Uganda

This week Kingsley Egbuonu, nearing the end of his alphabetical tour of national intellectual property official websites in Africa, reaches his 52nd destination, Uganda.  This is what he has to say:
"Overview

Uganda is a Contracting Party to a number of treaties on intellectual property, excluding the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It is also an ARIPO Member State.

Copyright Office

• The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Uganda.

• The website for this office is www.ursb.go.ug

Industrial Property Office

• The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in Uganda.

• The website for this office is www.ursb.go.ug

Social Media Presence

None found.

Intellectual Property update in Uganda

Afro-IP has reported on various developments including those of practical significance in Uganda including here, here, here and here.

On other IP-related news, we learn that Ugandans now have a chance to manufacture essential medicines in their own country rather than have it imported from China or India. This is good news for technology transfer in Africa and should be an area to which all the energy of health-care NGOs should be directed. On the other hand, we also learn that the medicines advisor at the Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) has urged the Ugandan parliament to ensure the unfettered import of cheaper generics drugs until the capacity to manufacture in Uganda is achieved. This is equally right, provided there is no room for complacency and procrastination.

Finally, Afro-IP often discovers something to remind us of the legal history between the United Kingdom and some of the countries in Africa. This time we now learn that only UK design registrations are automatically extended to Uganda.

Conclusion

Uganda is another ARIPO member but, this time around, we found a live and functional website to comment on. As the name implies, the URSB’s website contains basic information relating to various registrable matters including business assets in Uganda. After the visit, Afro-IP took this recurring gloomy view – since the start of the A-Z tour - that the URSB’s website does not sufficiently cater for IP: for example, though it appears to educate on various IP rights, we only found forms TM1 and TM2 as the only forms for IP available online.

But don’t despair just yet; the URSB is very customer-oriented and it is currently conducting a poll on the quality of the services it has on offer. To participate, just visit the website and you will immediately find this on the right-hand side of the website. We hope you can click on all things IP".
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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