An overview of the legal, economic and technological aspects of intellectual property in Zambia and their compliance with international standards

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Tambulukani, Douglas
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In view of the obvious importance of intellectual property in every aspect of our personal and social lives, interested laymen and students who have sensed that something exciting is going on here would like to have a simple introduction - a guide to orient them in the exploration of this important area. This is what this study seeks to achieve. At the attainment of independence on 24l October 1 964, Zambia had one of the strongest economy in the region. But due to both internal and external factors, she is one of the poorest countries in the world today. In its quest to improve its economy, she has embarked on various economic policies dictated by the Western World such as structural adjustment program, privatisation and regional integration through free trade areas. These have not yielded the desired results of development.It is therefore submitted that perhaps the answer to improved social, cultural, technological and economic welfare of the nation lies in one of the most over looked areas of human endeavour intellectual property. The most valuable natural resource of any given nation is it's human resource which invariably is the source of intellectual property.The maximization of the exploitation of intellectual property would provide answers and solutions to the unique problems experienced by third world nations such as Zambia. This calls for adequate legal protection of the resultant intellectual property rights to ensure a constant source of solutions. Lack of a comprehensive mechanism of protection has resulted in the diminished exploitation of this branch of law. Adequate protection of intellectual property provides a conducive atmosphere to attract the much needed foreign investment and foster economic development. Intellectual property is one of the most fundamental pillars to technological development through the patent system. The patent system encourages local investment and domestic technology to acquire an economic face. This is only attainable were there is a firm and comprehensive legal framework. Though intellectual activity can be traced to the first man created, the concept of intellectual property law is a relatively new branch of law in the developing countries and it has not received the attention it deserves. This is largely due to the misconception that it is not viable for the improvement of the nation. This may be attributed to either ignorance of its importance or lack of understanding of its scope and use. The above factors put together necessitate an evaluation and analysis of Zambia's intellectual property laws and their significance to the economic and technological aspects especially in light of the minimal results yielded through other economic policies on by the government.
Intellectual property , Patent laws , Legislation- Zambia , Technology transfer , Technology