LEGAL IDEAS FORUM

Making Innovation Work for a Green Future in Nigeria

INTRODUCTION:

Intellectual property is simply the creation of the human mind.1 It is the intelligence property of human creation.2 The livewire of the green future is such that is dependent on individual’s capacity in achieving an eco-friendly situation guided upon an effective IP system.3 Innovation is a central driver of economic growth, development and better jobs. It is one of the key factors that enable firms to compete successfully in the global marketplace, and the process by which solutions are found to social, environmental and economic challenges.4 In order for an increased productive environment, there needs to be a significant scaling up in support for innovation.5

In Nigeria, the copyright and related rights which provides right granted to the proprietor of an original work, aids in the protection and administration of the IPR. However, the three main statutes governing the IP system in Nigeria are the Copyright Act, The Patent and Designs Act, and Trademarks Act.6

In recent times, innovation geared towards a green future has taken a promising trajectory, thereby increasing the need for patent registration, 7 to allow innovations become patentable, they must comply with the conditions for registration, i.e. newness/novelty, results from inventive activity and is capable of industrial application.8

“Over the years, there have been attempts by successive governments and policy makers to reform intellectual property regimes to accommodate the continuously changing technological innovations and for a better protection of right holders.11 The judiciary both at state and regional levels have equally shielded the right holders by its continuous interpretation of the available legislative instruments”.12


This essay will focus in providing the relationships between green future, innovation and IP; where we currently are and what alternative are available. The notion, “making innovation work for a green future in Nigeria” has been at the center of many court decisions in the Nigerian Jurisdiction, like Procter & Gamble v Global Soap & Detergent Industries Ltd,13 and Virgin Enterprises Ltd v Richday Beverages (NIG) Ltd.14 This essay will also take into consideration, judicial and statutory assertions, scholarly opinions, case-laws, and online journals.

OVERVIEW OF MAKING INNOVATION WORK FOR A GREEN FUTURE IN NIGERIA

In an effort to control infringement of innovation with an effective Intellectual Property system, the Nigeria Jurisprudence enacted the Copyright Patent and Design Act 1988. Patents are exclusive time-bound rights given to an innovator by a government where such innovator successfully demonstrates that his disclosed innovation is novel and capable of industrial application.15 One of the goals of the patent registration system is to encourage innovation by securing for the creator, the exclusive right as provided in Section 6(1) of the Patent and Designs Act 1970, for a fixed period of time, to commercially exploit his innovation and restrict all other persons from imitating the invention without the owner’s permission.16

In Nigeria, the significant increase in the pace of industrial and technological development has increased the relevance of patent protection for innovations.17However, Infringeme

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