The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) joined the global intellectual property rights community in commemoration the World Intellectual Property day (WIP) 20th anniversary since its inauguration. The WIP day is aimed at increasing people’s awareness and understanding of intellectual property (IP).
The day brings together international IP organizations to raise awareness of intellectual property rights protection, through training programs and other joint activities. The theme of this year’s campaign ‘innovate for a Green Future’ calls for a paradigm shift by intellectual property right owners to be the drivers of sustainable development.
Mr. Elema Halake, the Executive Director at the Anti-Counterfeit Authority said, “This year world IP Day comes at a time when the world is experiencing unprecedented times due to COVID 19 pandemic. We will not have physical commemoration but virtual commemorations with the overall aim of gaining respect to Intellectual Property. We will have TV talk shows and social media campaigns to commemorate this day”.
This year’s theme is critical because it supports global efforts against climate change by connecting key actors in environmentally friendly innovation. Mr. Halake added that the theme “aims to incentivize innovation in this field and spread it more broadly, and to contribute to the efforts of developing countries in addressing the global challenges of climate change, food security and the environment. This resonates well with the government’s agenda towards delivery of the Big 4 Development goals”.
In the last three weeks the Authority has made seizures of counterfeit sanitizers and facemasks meant for containing the COVID 19 Pandemic. Mr. Halake said that the Authority will move fast towards ensuring we are not counterfeiting ideas/ products from other innovators. “Kenyans are great innovations in diverse fields like pharmaceutical and copyrights and manufacturers are doing us proud as we brave through the pandemic making life saving innovations and COVID-19 Essential Supplies like ventilators, face masks, hand sanitizers etc. assisting with safety during this pandemic” He added.
Kenya is ranked the second most innovative country in sub-Saharan Africa in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index 2019, emerging in position 29 globally
“We will continue to work closely with other Government agencies like Kenya Industrial Property Institute and Kenya Copyright Board to ensure Intellectual property is respected.” Mr. Halake added.
According to World Intellectual Property Organization, Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
Last year to mark the World IP Day, under the multi-agency partnership in the fight against counterfeiting and illicit trade the authority launched the National Anti-Illicit Trade Action Plan 2019/22 Action Plan. The plan shared the measures the government has put in place to counter the effect of illicit trade.