The WIPO Regional Seminar on Patent Cooperation Treaty and Patentscope for African Countries has begun on Monday at the Kigali Convention Center.
The three-day event, which has attracted participants from innovation and research centers, lawyers and other key stakeholders, aims to spur scientific development and innovation in Africa.
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is a United Nations specialized agency that promotes the protection of Intellectual Property globally.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Registrar General, Richard Kayibanda, said, “We are honored to receive the first regional workshop in patent matters that brings together a high number of representatives of intellectual property offices, members of WIPO and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization.”
He said this demonstrates the importance of intellectual property is to spur scientific development and innovation.
Rwanda’s Vision 2020 highlights human resource development and a knowledge-based economy as one of its six priorities.
To build a knowledge-based economy, intellectual property protection is central to converting knowledge, information and ideas into tradable intellectual property assets, ensuring that the national economy continues to thrive,” Kayibanda concluded.
Rwanda joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Harare Protocol in 2011.
Since the accession to these instruments, the number of patent and utility models applications in Rwanda has increased from 48 in 2016 to 162 in 2017 and 409 this year.