A Study on Intellectual Property Environment in Eight Countries: Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) refers to protection of inventions in all fields of human endeavor – scientific discoveries, industrial designs, Trade Marks, Service Marks, Literary, Artistic, Scientific Works, Performances, Sound recordings, broadcasts, etc. It is a protection against unfair competition and it is intangible. It rewards innovative activity and helps to re-coup the costs of creating the invention and make profit. It also helps to acquire exclusive rights over the commercial exploitation of the creation. Currently, there are three classic Intellectual Property Regimes. These include: Industrial Property regime; Copyrights regime and Plant Breeders' Rights regimes. Industrial Property regime includes patents for inventions, utility models (petty patents), industrial designs, trade marks for identification of goods, etc., trade secrets, service marks for identification of services and topographies of integrated circuits. Copyrights includes protection of cultural, artistic and literary written works such as poems, books, articles, music works, paintings, cinematography works, photography, sculpture and computer programming. Plant Breeders' Rights mainly cover the protection of new plant varieties.