The Socio-Economic Impact of Intellectual Property Rights Regime of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Intellectual property rights are believed to have direct role in facilitating the development efforts of a particular country by encouraging investment in inventions and by establishing secured property system. The now advanced countries and the newly industrialized countries used to design their IPRs laws in tune with their technical and economic needs. They do so, by violating foreign rights, by using petty-patents and encouraging imitation, adaptation and reverse-engineering. However, means available during those times are blocked by harmonization of intellectual property rights through multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements. There are also ongoing harmonization efforts. The flexibilities for policy options are impoverished by these movements. Catching up efforts by technologically non-proficient or non-industrialized countries is becoming increasingly difficult. Their low technological capability demands them to tailor intellectual property system that helps technological knowledge develop within them by encouraging learning by doing and accumulation of knowledge. Compared to the historical, theoretical and empirical lessons, the current Ethiopian intellectual property laws, are aiming to encourage local inventive activities, build national technological capability and transfer and adaptation of foreign technologies by domestic enterprises. Ethiopia should, therefore, strongly implement its IPRs laws in a way that can contribute to its development efforts and enhance technical learning and accumulation of knowledge by domestic enterprises via increased exposure to foreign technologies. In brief Ethiopia should consider the intellectual property rights immense role of Innovation and Creativity in development • Key to development in today's knowledge economy prosperity & sustainability of a country & its development is no longer based on natural resources but on intangible assets such as innovations and creative works essential tool to enhance competitiveness and ensure market leadership v • Innovation and creative works are valuable assets. Significance of assets can be seen by looking at: the change in indicators of wealth share of intangibles in company’s assets and The growth in international trade Contributing Factors for an effective Innovation System are: The amount of financial resources that companies and the government allocate to Research and Development activities • The financial system is a key feature of the general investment climate and is particularly important for the creation of new firms. • The availability of Microfinance and for financing of more risky but potentially innovative enterprises is key. The availability of Skilled man power in the country /Human Capital /Human Capital provides the perhaps most important pillar for a dynamic innovation system.



development in today's knowledge economy, prosperity & sustainability of a country