The Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) has urged businesses and innovators in the country to utilise the intellectual property protection system in order to make use of their intangible assets.
PACRA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Vaida Bunda said the agency will remain committed to building awareness among stakeholders on the value of intellectual property and on developing the necessary infrastructure to help citizens take full advantage of the system.
Ms. Bunda said PACRA has since revised its existing intellectual property laws to bring them in line with international standards and best practices.
New areas of the law include service marks, geographical indications, traditional knowledge and petty patents, with service marks being primarily important to micro, small and medium enterprises that providing services such as financial services, catering and hospitality.
She said in a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today that a company’s intangible assets such as brands, designs and other products are more valuable than physical assets in today’s commercial world.
Ms. Bunda cited the coca-cola trademark as one the most popular trademarks which is more valuable in monetary terms than the physical assets of the company.
She said it was regrettable that a lot of local entrepreneurs did not fully embrace opportunities offered by the intellectual property protection system.
“Most entrepreneurs do not fully capitalise on their intellectual property assets such as trademarks, patents and industrial designs and use them to advance their business goals. The agency is of the view that registration of intellectual property rights has many benefits such as the fact that trademarks will help consumers know the origin of their products and also lessen the burden of advertising as entrepreneurs do not have to spend much on advertising because the trademark will sell the product itself,” she explained.
Ms. Bunda affirmed that registering intellectual property rights would deter products from being imitated or counterfeited by competitors on the market therefore protecting revenue of the owner.
She revealed that the country has in the recent past experienced an increase in the number of counterfeited products on the market noting that one way of fighting this vice was through registration of intellectual property rights.
On 26th April this year, Zambia will join the rest of the world in celebrating the World Intellectual Property day under the theme “Creativity – The Next Generation”.
PACRA has invited notable manufacturers in Zambia to be part of the commemoration.