INTA Delegation Supports Intellectual Property Rights in Nigeria

Published: October 1, 2019

INTA President David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland) recently led a delegation to Nigeria, where he represented INTA at an intellectual property (IP) symposium titled “The Bane of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Piracy: Building Respect for IPR as a Strategic Resource for Economic Growth.” At the event, INTA advocated for a revamping of the pro-IP landscape in the country, and emphasized the importance of interagency collaboration and the establishment of an IP Rights (IPR) Center.

The forum, which took place from September 16 to 17, was organized by the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and the federal government of Nigeria. Opening keynote speaker Professor Adebambo A. Adewopo (Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) highlighted the increasing role of IPR as a strategic resource for Nigeria’s economic growth, and its increasing significance to the core values of human enterprise and development goals in the region. Following the keynote address, Mr. Lossignol underscored the nexus between Nigeria’s accelerated industrialization and IPR promotion and enforcement.

The INTA delegation also met with a number of key officials and stakeholders, including Deputy Comptroller General of Customs Mohamed Babandede; Director of Investigations and Enforcement, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Kingsley Ejiofor; and Vice President of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria Obafemi Agaba. In addition, INTA Representative Africa, Middle East and Intergovernmental Organizations Tat-Tienne Louembe met with an official at the Economic Section of the French Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as lawmakers and representatives from the Nigerian Trademarks Registry.

Following the symposium, Mr. Louembe attended an Unreal Campaign event organized by INTA Unreal Campaign Committee members Lara Kayode (O. KAYODE & CO, Nigeria) and Obianuju Otudor (Punuka Attorneys & Solicitors, Nigeria). The Unreal Campaign is INTA’s consumer awareness initiative designed to educate young consumers, ages 14‒23, about the importance of trademarks and brands, and the dangers of counterfeit products.

Mr. Louembe also visited the offices of Jackson Etti Edu, Aluko and Oyebode, AELEX to thank them for their unrelenting support in organizing roundtables and a pre-annual reception and to strategize collaborative activities to be undertaken in 2020. He also met with INTA Enforcement Committee member Akeem Aponmade (A. O. APONMADE & CO., Nigeria) to discuss the latest developments pertaining to upcoming workshops for judges in the region.

The symposium served well to increase awareness in the region of how the promotion of IPR benefits local consumers, innovators, and the private sector in one of the growing economies in Africa.

INTA Representative Tat-Tienne Louembe supports the Association’s 510 members across Africa and the Middle East. In collaboration with the staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City and Representative Offices around the world, Mr. Louembe works on the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives in these regions. To learn more about INTA’s activities in Africa and the Middle East, please contact Tat-Tienne Louembe at [email protected].

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© 2019 International Trademark Association