The American Business Council in partnership with the US Embassy recently hosted a 2-day Intellectual Property symposium on Copyright Piracy and Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals on the 16th and 17th of September.
The event brought government agencies, Non-Government Organizations, and private sector stakeholders in the intellectual property rights framework together to address the issues with the Intellectual Property laws and its cost to the economy and society. Businesses and organizations from various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as the pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, Information and Communication technology (ICT) and entertainment sector were well represented.
Panelists included Prof. Christiana Mojisola Adeyeye DG of NAFDAC, Babatunde Irukera DG of FCCPC, John Asien DG of NCC, Margaret Olele CEO of the American Business Council, David Lossignol of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and Charles Igwe, Principal Consultant/CEO The Big Picture LLC, Gabriel Ogunyemi of Janssen pharmaceuticals, Isioma Idigbe of Punuka Solicitors, Chinwe Ohanele of Biaya Consult, to name a few.
They shared insights on the issues and the way forward. Key addresses were made by Tanya Hill International Computer Hacking & Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Attorney Adviser, Sub-Saharan Africa; United States Department of Justice/OPDAT, Hon. Femi Fakeye Chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Professor Adebambo Adewopo of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
The American Business Council is the affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce and the voice of US businesses in Nigeria. The Council works with critical stakeholders – US Embassy and other critical stakeholders to improve the business environment. “Intellectual Property rights creates an incentive for innovation and investment in research and development. Both are critical to the future of any business, and the economic growth of a country. IP protection is of key interest to US companies as issues of innovation and respect for knowledge assets constitute our intrinsic culture, stated by the President of American Business Council, Dipo Faulkner.
The exhibitions at the symposium provided a platform to stress the importance of strengthened intellectual property laws and showcasing products and services of interest to public and private stakeholders. It was an opportunity to meet an array of prospective Nigerian buyers and partners. A movie screening of a Nigerian-produced documentary film, ‘Fishbone’, which captured the issues on Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals was on display.