Africa, Intellectual Property Rights, Nigeria, Patents, Technology, Trademarks, WTO

Enhancing Access to Research: Technology Transfer Offices to be Linked to Nigerian Libraries

Dr. Umar Bindir, Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), recently disclosed plans to link all Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in Nigeria to the public libraries.  Bindir explained: “Libraries must have access to not only the pool of research results but also that of patents, trademarks and designs. We must link the patent offices to the libraries. The pool of trademarks should be in the libraries, the pool of designs should be there to enable people to [sic] have access to the innovations already on ground, this is not necessarily to copy it but to improve on them if need be.”

The linking of the IPPTOs to libraries will hopefully suppress a conventional trend whereby most research stemming from Nigerian universities and research facilities fail to be developed into prototypes or finished commercial products.  According to Blindir, Nigerian institutions are not generating revenue from inventions, especially in comparison to other countries, as a result of Nigeria’s poor patent infrastructure.

The Registrar/CEO of Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria, Dr. Victoria Okojie believes that the time has come for researchers to reap the fruit of their labor, and with the assistance of libraries, their works will be projected to a larger audience, locally and internationally.  She went on: ”Job creation is an integral part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation agenda and we believe that if we open up access to these innovations from Nigeria, investors will come, pick them for commercialization.”

Hopefully the linking of the IPTTOs to Nigerian public libraries will prove fruitful and give inventors an opportunity to garner further attention and recognition for their works.

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About Tracy Ayodele

Tracy Ayodele is a third year JD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, with an interest in copyright and trade-mark law. She completed her undergraduate degree at York University, with a major in Criminology.

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