The director-general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim has identified the patenting of intellectual property as a key step to the commercialisation of research and development (R&D) results.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day ‘Naija Inventor/Innovator’ workshop for selected innovators and inventors with viable commercial-worthy (R&D) results themed “Commercialisation of Innovation/invention as a tool for Economic Diversification and Growth in the Nigerian Economy” today (February 22) in Abuja, Ibrahim said no country develops without paying critical attention to inventions and innovative activities of its knowledge workers.
He said that the office is working closely with the Association of Nigerian Inventors (ANI), a body that coordinates the activities of Nigerian inventors and innovators, to sensitise them on the importance of patenting their inventions and innovations to ensure commercialisation.
The NOTAP boss stated that Nigerian researchers and members of ANI have demonstrated competence and desire to make their presence felt in the Nigerian market through the commercialisation of their inventions and innovations but have poor patent culture. He encouraged members of ANI to file for a patent through NOTAP to ensure that their inventions and innovations are protected to avoid being stolen by others.
In her presentation titled “Importance of Trademarks in Product Development and Marketing”, the chief registrar, Trademarks, Patent and Design Registry, Mrs. Stella Ezenduka, underscored the importance of patenting invention and innovations cannot be overemphasised as patent gives the owner the exclusive right or monopoly of financially exploiting their inventions for 20 years without infringement.
She said that Nigerian researchers have lost fortunes through exposing their inventions before filing for a patent, adding that patenting and copyrighting of our intellectual works offers the owner the opportunity of recouping their investments in research.
Earlier, the president of ANI, Mr. Lawrence Nzenagu, lauded NOTAP for being at the forefront in ensuring the growth of the intellectual property ecosystem in Nigeria.
He pointed out that NOTAP has been critical to the successes recorded by members of ANI through sensitisation, as well as assisting in patenting their inventions for free.
Ezenagu disclosed that Nigerian inventors and innovators across the country have performed remarkably in the area of inventive and innovative undertakings but requires financial support and grants from both public and private establishments to fast-track technological development in Nigeria.