A critical analysis of the use of intellectual property rights by selected manufacturing Companies in Lusaka Zambia

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Silondwa, George
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Intellectual Property is like any other ordinary property. There are rights attached to it that permit the owner to benefit from it. In our modern society, intellectual property plays significant roles such as advancing society through creating new things in areas such as science, technology and culture; steering economic growth thus creating new industries and products and enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life. With such benefits in mind, intellectual property must therefore not only be promoted but protected. This essay seeks to do an intellectual property audit in Lusaka covering private companies such as Trade Kings, National Milling and Zambia Breweries. The focus will be to establish the extent to which these companies carry out intellectual property audits, protection of trade secrets and trademarks. The findings of the study are: Most manufacturing companies have a Trademark while very few have a Patent. The most common method adopted for promoting and protecting the IP is by statutory registration followed by raising public awareness via advertising and through employment agreements;There is a serious lack of expertise to carryout IP audits in the manufacturingcompanies. Consequently, IP audits are not widely carried out;There are adequate domestic provisions for the protection of IP. The Acts governing Patents and Trademarks provide adequate protection of IP assets;There were marked variations in the promotion and protection of IP between local and foreign companies;The Patents and Trademarks journal is the main vehicle used by the Patents office to publicise the Patents and Trademarks in Zambia. It is recommended that serious efforts be made to raise the intellectual property awareness among the manufacturing companies and the public at large so as to create an intellectual property culture. Further, that intellectual property audits be made a mandatory part of audited accounts of companies.
Intellectual property rights-Zambia , Patents