LIPO, Copyright Observe World Intellectual Property Day

first_imgThe Liberia Industry Property (LIPO) in collaboration with the Liberia Copyright Office celebrated the World Intellectual Property day in Monrovia.  The event was held under the theme, ‘Stand up for IP protection in Liberia’ last Monday at Friends of Friends Haitai Association (FOFHA). It brought together nearly 100 participants from both public and private sectors. The event, according to LIPO Acting Officer-In-Charge, Prince Decker, was the first of its kind in Liberia and that Intellectual property (IP) is the creation of minds, inventions, literary and artistic works as well as symbols, names and images used in commerce.He added that the progress and wellbeing of humanity rest on its capacity to create and invent new works in technology and culture.“And the legal protection of new creation encourages additional commitment of resources for further invention, promotion of intellectual property, economic growth which enhances quality of life,” he said.He disclosed that because of lack of information to the public about IP there counterfeiting and piracy have increased in the country.He said, “We’ve decided to take IP to the people to discourage them about buying pirated works that are usually 10 disks in one, and have taking over our market.“We know that it is the responsibility of LIPO to stop counterfeiting and piracy, but direct success can’t be achieved if the people don’t give their full support.”According to him, LIPO is encouraging inventors to use its office to get their patent, trademark, industrial design to help protect their invention, and avoid being deprived from their just benefits. “LIPO remains committed to enforce industrial property regulations, and protect the rights of holders.”Mr. Moses D. Nyepan LIPO Director for Research and Development said, “Stealing intellectual property is a serious threat to all Liberian businesses. Exporters face unfair competition abroad, non exporters face counterfeit imports at home and all businesses face legal, health and safety risks from the threat of counterfeit goods and pirated works in Liberia.”He stated further that the lack of expertise and information to the public leads to IP theft risks to all sectors, especially ideas and invention in Liberia. “It is still a problem to determine the exact scope of the increase in IP theft,” Mr. Nyepan said. “Our observation indicates that copyright piracy, trademark, counterfeiting, and patent infringement in the country need citizens’ support to root them out,” he said.He noted that without protection for inventors’ ideas, there could be less research and creative talents will suffer.Four collective society groups were invited, including the Movie Union of Liberia, Liberia Gospel Musicians, Liberia Business Association and the Musicians Union of Liberia. However, only the Musician Union of Liberia sent representative. Most of the participants at the program were LIPO employees. Surprisingly there were no representatives from the Liberia Copyright Office.Also there was no representation from the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning, Ministry of Justice, Liberia Revenue Authority and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the lines ministries and agencies that collaborate with LIPO in it work.“It is shameful that there was no government official here to grace this celebration, but this not a surprise since it is not a political rally,” Said Tony Karbedeh, representing the Musicians’ Union of Liberia.He added, “We will continue to lobby our officials to do what is their due diligent to help eradicate piracy, counterfeiting and many of these things that are slowly killing inventors.”Karbedeh said the only means to push relevant government officials to do the right thing is for collective society to unite with a common focus.“It’s very sad to know that collective society is poorly represented as we celebrate this day and this is a sign of disservice to the fight against piracy and counterfeit,” Atty. Allen Gweh, president of FOFHA said.He also said people should not assume that lawyers don’t have knowledge on copyright issue, “it is the responsibility of inventors to get legal counsel prior to the release of their work.”He stated that most inventors in Liberia don’t have lawyers to fight for them, “if their works are pirated or counterfeited which has given the criminals the opportunity to get rich.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

PYJ Forms New Political Party

first_imgAfter losing hold of his first brainchild, the National Union for Democracy Party (NUDP), Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) has again formed another political party, the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR).This comes as the country moves toward the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections with more politicians emerging to contest the presidency and some forming new political parties. A political commentary noted that most political parties in Liberia are built around individuals who also serve as sources of funding for their operations, not as institutions.For example, Senator Johnson, a former rebel leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), is among the few popular politicians with huge followings. His large following is due to his origin from voter-rich Nimba County.But Johnson, who contested the 2011 presidential elections, is currently without a political party after he was ousted from the NUDP under whose banner he contested the presidency. His kinsmen see him as a liberator voting him as senator twice, in 2005 and again in 2011. While serving as a sitting Senator, Johnson in 2011 founded the NUDP and contested the presidency, finishing an impressive third behind the Unity Party and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).Due to the huge population of Nimba County, Senator Johnson and his NUDP became kingmaker, with both UP and CDC courting Johnson’s support.The Nimba County strongman settled for the UP of sitting President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, describing the President as “the lesser of two evils.”After Johnson gave his support to Sirleaf, serious confusion broke out in the NUDP, with members of the party’s Executive Committee accusing him of taking money from the UP in exchange for their support, which he denied. The confusion, however, led to his expulsion from the NUDP. The NUDP was later delisted by the National Elections Commission for failing to meet certain requirements. Following the collapse of the party, Senator Johnson contested the 2014 special senatorial election, which he won as an independent candidate. The lure of Nimba County’s vote-rich status continues to make Johnson a hot political figure. With the emergence of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Johnson appears to once again fortify his base in the hope that he would remain an influential figure in the political sphere.Yesterday, the Daily Observer learned that Senator Johnson is in the process of completing the formation of MDR to aid his political quest in 2017. Sources have also hinted to this newspaper that the new MDR would be in negotiations with other parties for a possible merger.Wilfred Bangura, who is expected to serve as Secretary General of the MDR, confirmed that the party is only waiting to be certified by the NEC. On the issue of the party forming a merger, Bangura said the MDR, once certified, will remain open to all well-meaning political parties and individuals that have similar goals as the MDR. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more