ARIPO and Ghana host a workshop to promote intellectual property rights and innovation

The Ministry of Justice and Attorney general’s Department in Ghana, in collaboration with ARIPO and the Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in Africa (AfrIPI), hosted a 3-day workshop to promote intellectually property rights and innovation in ARIPO member states. AfrIPI is an international cooperation project funded and directed by the European Union, co-funded and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The workshop, which took place in Ghana from 3 -5 October, sought to raise awareness regarding the significance of intellectual property, in particular in relation to the manner in which intellectual property promotes technological advancement and sustainable development, and drives human progress.

The program covered several topics, including an overview of ARIPO and AfrIPI, intellectual property rights principles and concepts, the role of IP Offices in promoting innovation, the use of intellectual property rights for business growth and competitiveness by MSMEs in Africa.

The workshop brought together participants from different ARIPO Member States, universities, technical institutions, MSMEs, and representatives from the Registrar-General’s Department in Ghana.

The attendees highlighted that intellectual property rights were becoming increasingly more important to all economies worldwide, and this was evidenced by the increase in IP applications filed over the last 5 years worldwide.

Following the workshop, the Chief State Attorney of the Registrar -General Department of Ghana, indicated that her office would continue to collaborate with ARIPO, donor partners and stakeholders, to promote awareness and encourage the use of intellectual property to drive innovation and creativity.

Source: Blog – The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Ghana holds regional intellectual property rights and innovation workshop | Ghana News Agency (gna.org.gh)

GHANA – Proposed Ghana Industrial Property Office Bill, 2023

New legislation has been proposed to establish a new Industrial Property Office in Ghana.  The Ghana Industrial Property Office Bill, 2023 (“the Bill”) is currently pending before Parliament and has a way to go in the parliamentary process before the Bill can be assented to by the President.

In essence, the Bill proposes to establish a new Intellectual Property Office, the Ghana Industrial Property Office (“GHIPO”), whose function would be to manage the use of various forms of intellectual property rights, including patents, trade marks, industrial designs, plant varieties and geographical indicators.

Source: Ghana: A new IP office (afriwise.com)

Ghana: The green light for the cultivation of “wee”

The Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill, 2023 (“the Amendment Bill”) was, on 12 July 2023, passed into law in Ghana.  The passing of the Narcotics Bill is a significant event as authorises the Minister of Interior to issue licenses permitting, in Ghana, the cultivation of cannabis, as well as the exploration of the properties of cannabis that may have medicinal effects and benefits.  While the Amendment Bill is welcomed, it has also resulted in some confusion, with some believing that the Amendment Bill legalises domestic use of cannabis, known as “wee” in Ghana.  The Narcotics Control Commission has, on social media, been clear about the purpose of the Amendment Bill and clearly indicated that the domestic use of wee has not be legalised in Ghana.

Source: EXPLAINER: What the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023 means (ghanaweb.com)
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GHANA: A new Industrial Property Office may be on the cards

New legislation has been proposed in Ghana, the purpose of which is to establish a new Industrial Property Office in Ghana.  The Ghana Industrial Property Office Bill, 2023 (“the Bill”) is currently pending before Parliament and has a way to go in the parliamentary process before the Bill can be assented to by the President.

Ghana: A new IP office (afriwise.com)

GHANA

The rate of value-added tax in Ghana has increased to 15% effective 29 December 2022.

VAT increase

On 29 December 2022, the Value Added Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2022 (“the VAT Amendment Act”) was assented to by the President of Ghana.

In terms of Section 3(1) of the VAT Amendment Act, the rate of tax has increased from 12.5% to 15%.

The rate of tax is calculated on the value of the taxable supply of the goods or services; or the value of the import, and also applies to legal and intellectual property services rendered.

Ghana – Launch of the CSIR’s intellectual property policy document

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched an Intellectual Property (IP) policy to safeguard and promote the development and distribution of new technologies and services in Ghana. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Ghana Intellectual Property Organization (GHIPO) collaborated on the policy document, which went through several stages of development.

During the launch, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, praised the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research for its historical contributions to science, culture, and the development of Ghana. He affirmed that intellectual property rights were a statement of the CSIR’s dedication to the treasures of science and culture, yet he greatly claimed that many Ghana industries and the government of the country had ignored them.

Prof. Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, the chairman of the CSIR Governing Council, further said that the company has developed a number of innovations that have been profiled, compiled, and published for use as information and reference by the general public and the business sector. It is therefore encouraging that this IP strategy has now been developed and made public for the benefit of the innovator and the CSIR, the expert said.

Grace Ama Issahaque, Chief State Attorney, stated that the introduction of CSIR’s IP policy was the organization’s first move toward integrating IP into its business model at the Head of Ghana Industrial Property Office, Accra. She stated that the Registrar General’s Department’s Ghana Industrial Property Office and its partners would continue to work with stakeholders like the CSIR to strengthen their intellectual property management systems.

Source: Intellectual property policy launched | News Ghana

CSIR launches intellectual property policy – Graphic Online

Intellectual property policy document for CSIR launched | GhHeadlines Total News Total Information

New Registrar of Companies Launched

President Akufo-Addo recently launched the new Ghanaian Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORCs).

The ORC is responsible for company and business registration and also provides advisory services. The function of the ORCs will include making provision for information to be entered into the company’s register, verifying information provided by companies to the registrar and directing access to the information in the register. The function of the ORCs is different to that of the Registrar General Department, which will still remain responsible for the registration of intellectual property rights.

The ORC is also tasked with ensuring that all company information is digitised, which will assist the government in the fight against corruption and the creation of fake companies. It will also make the companies records more accessible.

Source: Ghana: New Registrar of Companies Launched to Boost Way of Doing Business – allAfrica.com

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National Biosafety Authority approves genetically modified (GM) crop in Ghana

The National Biosafety Authority approved the genetically modified cowpea, also known as the black eyed pea, in Ghana. This is the first of the three regulatory approvals that must be obtained before the GM cowpea can be commercialised in Ghana. The next two regulatory hurdles, which can be overcome simultaneously, are the approvals to obtained from by the Food and Drugs Authority, and from the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee.

Once the GM cowpea is approved by all three regulatory bodies, the scientists overseeing the project at the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute will need a strategy for seed multiplication, packaging and distribution. The GM cowpea is only likely to only be available in the market in over year, if not more.

Although, the cowpea is a major source of protein and is a food staple in the northern part of Ghana, the success of the GM cowpea will depend on overcoming opposition by civil society groups, and will need to be carefully priced. The GM version will increase yield, be more pest-resistant and will decrease the current costs of production. Cowpeas are not actually peas, but beans. They are one of the oldest crops to be farmed.

Source : Genetically modified cowpea clears its first hurdle in Ghana

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GHANA – UPDATE ON STRIKE ACTION

All services at the Industrial Property Office (IPO) and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) are suspended due to Strike Action. Some of these services include the making of payments, filing of applications, prosecuting matters and following up at the RGD and the IPO for all intellectual property matters.

 We are informed that the reason behind the strike concerns financial issues relating to the Registry Staff.

 We also understand that while the RGD and the IPO remain open, no work is being done until the strike action is called off.

 We are unable to comment on whether or not the strike days will be treated as dies non (in the case of impending deadlines) as we await further communication from the IPO and RGD in this regard.

 We are monitoring the situation closely and will report on developments as they occur.

Ghana – Strike Action comes to an end

We are pleased to report that the industrial strike action undertaken by the Registrar General’s Department and Industrial Property Office on 20 January 2022 has been called off and the Registry is back to full operational capacity