The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has urged stakeholders in intellectual property (IP) to prioritise the commercialisation of their patents in order to maximise financial benefits.
During a patentees’ forum held in Jos, Plateau State for the north-central zone of Nigeria, themed “After Patent, What’s Next?” the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim represented by the director of technology acquisition and research coordination, Mrs. Caroline Anie-Osuagwu emphasised the importance of organiding such programmes in all six geopolitical zones of the country. This initiative aims to ensure that inventors and innovators, who possess patents, can exploit their financial benefits through effective commercialisation.
Ibrahim expressed the view that patents that fail to translate into tangible products and services are more of a liability than an asset. He further emphasised that researchers with patented inventions have the option to license their inventions for royalty purposes or sell them outright to venture capitalists if they are unable to commercialise them. He stressed the need for Nigerian researchers to engage in demand-driven research that can be transformed into goods and services, highlighting that inventions and innovations are direct outcomes of research activities. By doing so, the country can decrease its dependence on foreign research products and leverage its pool of intellectual resources.
The vice-chancellor of the University of Jos and chairman of the event, Prof. Tanko Ishaya emphasised the importance of research in achieving technological development. He drew a comparison between Nigeria, South Korea and Brazil, stating that while these countries were once referred to as ‘developing nations’ in the 1970s, South Korea is now providing technological guidance to Nigeria. Ishaya underscored the crucial role of industrially-motivated research in driving technological advancements, suggesting that Nigeria should focus less on oil for economic sustainability.
The vice-chancellor emphasised that substantial technological development cannot be achieved without significant investments in research, as it is research that enables the transformation of products into marketable goods for local consumption. He cited the example of Innoson Motors Limited, a major Nigerian breakthrough, which has not received the expected level of patronage from citizens. He urged Nigerians to prioritise the purchase of locally made products and services, as this would help attract international patronage in the future.
Participants from the zone commended NOTAP for organising this impactful programme and requested the office’s assistance in connecting them with investors and potential buyers who can invest in the commercialisation of their inventions.