The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights as a Tool For Economic Development in Zambia

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Ngulube, Misozi
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The subject of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has become widespread in a world that is more and more globalised. Intellectual property exists in various forms and these include copyrights, patents, designs, performance rights and trademarks. It has been recognized throughout the world that intellectual property can be used to foster economic development. It is for this reason that the need to protect IP and the extent of protection has been the subject of debate both in the international and regional sphere. Some countries are in favor of a strong IP system, they feel that IP should be jealously protected as it has the potential to yield economic development. Other nations still feel that IP should not be given more protection than is necessary as this can be an obstacle to international trade. The aim of conferring protection on IPRs is intended to generate development. It has been generally accepted that the enforcement of IPRs with a view to development is only possible if there is an effective and proficient IP system in place. This calls for effective laws and efficient enforcement mechanisms. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are not to be viewed as an end but as a means to an end. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the enforcement of IPRs is used to achieve economic development of greater heights. There are laws regulating IPRs and enforcement mechanisms designed to ensure the observance of IPRs in Zambia. However, the Zambian economy still remains undeveloped regardless of the fact that the area of IP provides an avenue for economic development. This paper looks at the laws regulating IPRs in Zambia and highlights their shortcomings. It also discusses the role of the courts and various enforcement agencies in the enforcement of IPRs. The research also undertakes a comparative study of how some developed nations have utilized IPRs in fostering economic development. The paper has also proposed changes in some areas of concern in so far as the enforcement of IPRs in Zambia is concerned. It is hoped that the proposed changes will go a long way in bringing about the desired economic development.
Intellectual property - law and legislation - Zambia , Copyright - Zambia