There are two (2) main branches of IP namely:

  • Industrial Property
  • Copyright & Related Rights

Industrial Property

Industrial property encompasses all forms of IP which have industrial connotation. These include:

  • Patents: which grant exclusive rights to inventors for their inventions.
  • Trademarks: which deal with identifiers used by one undertaking to distinguish its products/services from those of other competitors.
  • Industrial designs: which grant exclusive rights to the aesthetic appearance of an artifact or any object.
  • Geographical indications: which suggest the origin of a product based on known characteristics and qualities that are unique to the place of origin.
  • Topographies of Integrated Circuits: which deal with protection for the unique layouts of integrated circuits (IC) commonly found in electronic devices.

Copyright & Related Rights

Copyright is a basic right granted to creators of literary and artistic works to enable them not only to be recognized as authors of those works but also to gain remuneration as a reward for their creative efforts. Just as any other form of IP, copyright seeks to incentivize authors to create more cultural products for the benefit of society.
Literary and artistic works which are eligible for copyright protection include the following:

  • Books such as textbooks, novels, storybooks, film scripts, periodicals, articles, etc.
  • Artistic works such as paintings, drawings, logos, sculptures, lithographs, architectural drawings, etc.
  • Music and sound recordings
  • Films
  • Computer software and mobile apps
  • Derivative works

Conditions for copyright protection

The work must be:

  • a) Original in character
  • b) Fixed in any tangible medium of expression which can be perceived directly or with the aid of a device
  • c) (i) Created by a citizen or a person who is ordinarily resident in the Republic; and either
    (ii) must be first published in the Republic or if published outside the Republic, must be published in the Republic within 30days of publication outside of the Republic; or
    (iii) must be a work in respect of the Republic has an obligation under an international treaty to grant protection.