#Opinion&Analysis: StartUps Should Embrace Intellectual Property Rights

As Zimbabwe joins the bandwagon of innovation and technological advancements, more brilliant ideas are being birthed with the aim of providing solutions to a number of woes bedeviling the economy.

However, a number of Techies regardless of their new inventions, have not realised any meaningful revenue or livelihoods from their ventures due to issues to do with professionalism and proper mentorship.

Speaking at a Tech workshop, Parliamentarian James Maridhadi implored startups to take Intellectual Property issues seriously so as the hedge young entrepreneurs against exploitation of their ideas by bigger organisations and greedy individuals.

A number of young people have come forward, complaining over cop-orates who would have hijacked their ideas.

Startups at a TechFest held in Bualwayo recently

According Intellectual property experts, Intellectual property rights are like any other property rights, they allow the creator, or owner, of a patent, trademark, or copyright to benefit from his or her own work or investment.

Intellectual Property includes, industrial property, designs,trade- marks, patents and utility models, geographical indications, copyright and related rights, traditional knowledge and Trade Secrets. Trade secret means confidential business information that is known only to a certain circle within a business and should not be leaked outside the company.  Examples of trade secrets are, your customer list, the specific method to make your product, the specific way to treat the materials when making your products.

Intellectual Property includes, industrial property, designs,trade- marks, patents and utility models, geographical indications, copyright and related rights, traditional knowledge and Trade Secrets.

Trade secret means confidential business information that is known only to a certain circle within a business and should not be leaked outside the company. Examples of trade secrets are, your customer list, the specific method to make your product, the specific way to treat the materials when making your products.

Original creators of works protected by Copyright have exclusive right to use or authorise others to use their work under certain terms. The creator of a work can prohibit or authorise its reproduction in various forms, such as printed publication; Initial distribution to the public through sale and other transfer of ownership in tangible copies; rental of copies to the public; translations into other languages or adaptation.
Design rights can be classified as industrial designs, models and utility models. Designs may under certain circumstances also be protected under Copyright Law.

Zimbabwe is however awaiting the finalisation of the Intellectual Property Act.

Zimbabwe has a number of orgnisations that handle the patenting and registering of trademarks, these include ARIPO, PALADIUM among st others

Design rights protect independently created designs, which are new or original and have an independent character. In order to qualify for design protection, the design must not be dictated by technical or functional aspects.

 

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