MoICT Experts, Key Stakeholders Review ICT Intellectual Property Guidelines

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By Namutebi Sumayiya

The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance created rules for ICT Intellectual Property (IP) to promote innovation and economic growth via the adoption of IT innovations across the country.

The Ministry has this week arranged for an expert evaluation of these recommendations to improve intellectual property management and protection in Uganda’s ICT industries at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa.

According to Gladys Nakyejwe the Intellectual Property Focal Person at the Ministry, these principles are critical for encouraging innovation, creativity, and economic growth in Uganda by protecting inventors’ rights and establishing an atmosphere favorable to information sharing.

“The goal is to reflect Uganda’s unique needs while also contributing to the country’s socioeconomic development and global competitiveness. The expansion of Uganda’s ICT industry has mostly been driven by the private sector, resulting in the establishment of several sub-sectors such as innovation.”

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To safeguard various types of intellectual property in the ICT industry, the government has implemented a number of legislation, including the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act of 2006, the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2009, and the Industrial Properties Act of 2014. The National Intellectual Property Policy, approved in 2019, seeks to promote innovation, productivity, competitiveness, and technology transfer and growth in Uganda’s economy.

The ICT IP standards are intended to increase the legal protection of inventions owned and sponsored by MOICT and NG. These rules outline a framework for managing, owning, and commercializing intellectual property rights in contracts between MOICT & NG and its suppliers. They include IP management, commercialization, the acquisition of digital assets, and financing and grants for innovative development.

Overall, the ICT IP rules seek to establish a standard framework for regulating, preserving, and adopting locally developed ICT solutions in Uganda. They aim to stimulate innovation, enhance ICT solutions practices, enable shared infrastructure, and safeguard innovators’ and inventors’ intellectual property rights.

Christopher Yikii, a Senior ICT official speaking on behalf of the commissioner of Research and Development and the Ministry, stated: “In an era characterized by rapid technological advancements and globalization, the significance of protecting intellectual creations has never been more crucial.”

“As we embark on this discussion, let us consider the profound impact that intellectual property has on innovation, creativity, and the overall progress of societies,” Yikii added.

The government of Uganda has begun to seriously engage in indigenous technology development, passing legislation to protect inventors, and backing organizations such as the National ICT organizations Support Programme (NIISP). Intellectual property rights (IPR) are critical to the success of these endeavors.

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