Universities, research and development (R&D) institutions and other innovation associations are increasingly leveraging their intellectual property (IP) internationally, as they diversify their contributions beyond just imparting knowledge to their students. In contrast, African universities generally have a low level of awareness, including in the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) member states. Specifically, on how to harness and use IP from research and other academic activities for their benefit.
The European Patent Office will partner with the AfrIPI project to promote awareness of the importance of IP in universities, including how to conduct IP searches for patents, trade marks, industrial designs and other forms of registrable IP.
This activity will have different phases:
- Phase I - Visits to selected universities, R&D institutions and innovation associations in ARIPO states to raise awareness on IP as a whole and IP searches.
- Phase II - To establish an IP search programme whose outcomes will inform the assessment of Phase I. This programme will be established in the Annual Work Plan 3.
- Phase III- Implementing the programme created in Phase II. This will include online search tutorials and establishing patent centres at selected universities in ARIPO member states, which will also take place in the Annual Work Plan 3.