USPTO hosts dialogue on enhancing patent innovation ecosystems in United States, Africa

Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Accra, Rolf Olson, speaking at the event

On June 24, the U.S. Embassy Accra with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted an intellectual property (IP) workshop, “Strategic Dialogue on Enhancing Patent Innovation Ecosystems in the United States and Africa,” for officials from Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Namibia, Rwanda, and Mauritius.

The program highlighted the benefits of intellectual property rights (IPR) and its correlation to economic growth, which is beneficial to intra-African trade.  USPTO and participants discussed ways to collaborate and increase awareness about the benefits of IP protection and enforcement.

The group also discussed reducing barriers and increasing access to IP systems and increasing patent office capacity through work sharing arrangements.  This is a constructive step towards fostering innovation and creativity across the continent and promoting economic growth through the protection and enforcement of IPR.

“A strong system of IP rights assures inventors, industrial designers, and creative artists that their ideas will be protected.  It enables them to seek payment for the use of their creations and continue to invest in future innovations,” said Rolf Olson, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Accra in remarks launching the workshop.

This strategic dialogue aligns with the USPTO’s efforts to increase IP awareness in the region and follows an earlier USPTO IP enforcement training program for Ghanaian judiciary, customs, and police officials.  The strategic dialogue provided valuable insights about the intersection of innovation and economic growth and how IP offices can reduce barriers to patent systems.

About the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

USPTO is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks.  The USPTO advises the President of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce, and U.S. government agencies on IP policy, protection, and enforcement.

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