In spite of the creativity and innovative activities emanating from our tertiary research institutions, none of the institutions has taken advantage of the system to secure a patent for an invention through the Ghana Industrial Property Office, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has bemoaned.

Gloria Akuffo has consequently urged all tertiary institutions to create visibility for their innovative activities through protection and exploitation, stressing “research works gathering dust on shelves should be a thing of the past. Let your innovation improve lives.”

She was speaking at the World Intellectual Property Day celebration in Accra on the theme: “Innovation – Improving Lives.”

Miss Akuffo disclosed that government was in the process of facilitating the establishment of the World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO), Technology Innovation Support Centers (TISC) in the country’s tertiary and research institutions to access current information and patent database in order to improve the quality of research for future protection and exploitation.

“I am informed that study has been carried out in 29 institutions to assess their readiness for the development of the TISC in the various universities and research institutions,” she added.

The Attorney General called for a better collaboration among stakeholders – particularly industry, government and academia/research – stressing that, the ministry existed to assist and protect the intellectual property rights of all stakeholders.

Miss Akuffo assured that, a Ghana Industrial Property Office (GIPO) would be established to take charge of industrial property issues adding that, the GIPO would be independent and focus on its core mandate to ensure efficiency and provide a business-friendly office for stakeholders.

The Acting Registrar General, Jemima Oware said majority of applications received at the Registrar General’s Department were from foreigners disclosing that, out of the 2,372 applications received by the department in 2016, only 900 came from locals.

She however indicated that, the local applicants were mainly businesses registered by foreigners “with very negligible actual or indigenous applications.”

“It tells that there is something about the intellectual property system that is appealing to the developed world that we may be blind to or might have overlooked,” Ms Oware said.

She assured of her department’s readiness to partner individuals and institutions to achieve their goals of moving away from having their research works and inventions covered in dust on shelves to market.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation for his part announced that, government was committed to establishing technology incubators, machine foundries, technology transfer centers and technology parks to give the Ghanaian inventor a one-stop shop for developing their ideas and gain access to hi-tech and equipment to build prototypes and link up with industry in order to commercialize their technologies.