Rwanda has finally joined ARIPO (Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation), having deposited its instrument of accession on the 24th June 2011. According to the ARIPO web site, "the Harare Protocol will enter into force with respect to the Republic of Rwanda on the 24th of September 2011".
This will bring the member states to 18. This is a significant step as Rwanda continues to set the pace as a the lead country in reforming its business environment, policies and legislation. Acceding to the Harare Protocol will assist Rwandan businesses to use the ARIPO system to file Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs within the 18 member states in an easier manner than before. More importantly, if the Rwandan Intellectual Property registry can show itself to be more efficient than other registries within the ARIPO system, it stands to reap more in terms of fees, as applicants may use it as the registry of choice.
This will continue to shed a positive light on Rwanda in the World Bank Doing Business index, as well as in the East African Community(EAC), where it continues to attract great attention as a good destination for investments in the services sector.
We welcome you Rwanda, thanks to the change makers at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and wish you all the best!
Monday, 19 September 2011