Zimbabwe should simplify its IP laws, says government official

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Zimbabwe should simplify its IP laws, says government official

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Zimbabwe should simplify its IP laws to benefit inventors, a government official has said in the run-up to an IP conference in the country.

Speaking at a media conference yesterday, November 4, secretary in the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Virginia Mabhiza, said “though Zimbabwe has legal frameworks which cater for IP, it is high time the country simplifies it for the understanding of beneficiaries”.

She said to do this, the country needs to raise awareness about the laws that currently exist in the country, as well as clarify them.

“We all know there is a value chain in order for one to benefit from IP. For instance, if a song by a local artist is also listened to in the US, how does the artist get their royalties? These are some of the laws that we should simplify so that beneficiaries will appreciate them and earn money from,” Mabhiza said.

The news, reported by the country’s state-controlled broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, comes shortly before Zimbabwe is set to host the WAO Conference on Innovation, IP and Value Addition for Business Competitiveness and Sustainable Development in Africa from November 5-8.

The conference is in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Zimbabwe IP Office.

“We are looking forward to this conference for it encourages a pro-IP attitude which will help in building IP in all spheres of business and research,” Mabhiza said.

She added: “We hope it will provide an ideal platform for sharing views and ideas as well as improving the understanding of the importance of IP for sustainable development.”

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