Intellectual Property Rights Workshop Empowers Innovators at Kabale UniversityGracious Akandwanaho
Kabale University, in partnership with the regional ICT Innovation Hub, hosted a highly one day successful Intellectual Property Rights Workshop on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023. This one-day event brought together experts from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in Uganda to educate participants about various intellectual property (IP) rights and the registration process.
The workshop, open to the public, attracted a diverse range of attendees, including students, faculty members, and members of the community. It provided valuable insights into the importance of protecting intellectual property and offered practical guidance on how to safeguard innovative ideas.
The Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Library Information Science (FoClis), Ass.Prof.Busingye Phelix Mbabazi, began the event with an introduction of the participants and an overview of the activities planned for the day. Expressing his gratitude for the attendees, Ass.Prof.Busingye Phelix Mbabazi also extended his appreciation to the representatives from the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance for their commitment to prioritizing Kabale University. He acknowledged the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) for their continuous presence throughout the workshop, demonstrating a remarkable dedication to training and accepting the university’s invitation. Furthermore, he commended the organizing committee for their hard work and efforts, which contributed to the workshop’s resounding success.
Mrs. Anny Katabaazi-Bwengye , the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration of Kabale University, officially inaugurated the workshop, emphasizing its focus on creating awareness. She expressed gratitude to the innovators in attendance and highlighted the significance of the institution’s Business Hub. Mrs. Bwengye invited Atukwase Rogers, a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, to share his innovation—a wireless mouse. Stressing the importance of taking the training seriously, she urged all participants to leverage the knowledge and resources provided. Additionally, she recognized the contributions of Mr. Mabirizi Vincent, a lecturer in the Faculty of Computing, lauding his dedication to the field of AI and innovation and his support for numerous student projects.
A representative from the Ministry of ICT discussed the Computer Misuse Act of 2022 and the Electronic Signature Act of 2011, enlightening the audience on the legal framework governing intellectual property rights in Uganda. Another representative from the Mbarara Regional Innovation Hub expressed gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor for the university’s development, underscoring the importance of problem-solving and providing solutions through innovation.
Madam Clara Tumwine, Assistant Registration Officer at URSB, shed light on the bureau’s functions, which encompass business registration, security for movable property, official receipt issuance, and intellectual property registration. She concluded her presentation by urging attendees to visit www.ursb.go.ug for additional e-resources and highlighted the benefits of registering their companies.
Mr.Agaba Gilbert, the Director of Intellectual Property, delivered a comprehensive presentation on IP, covering topics such as the reasons for protecting intellectual property, different forms of IP, and the registration process. His discourse included copyright, patents, industrial designs, trademarks, and trade secrets. Gilbert emphasized the significance of patent documentation as a primary tool for developing innovation and highlighted the services offered by the Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC). He underscored the importance of access to online documents, including journals, patents, and non-patent publications, and emphasized that IP rights are acquired through registration. Concluding his presentation, Gilbert asked a thought-provoking question: “What do people know about you?” He encouraged participants to harness the available resources and leverage their creativity to make a positive
Following these informative sessions, participants engaged in a Q&A session with the presenters, seizing the opportunity to gain further insights and clarification.
Madam Shirley Gladys, the Senior ICT Officer and Intellectual Property Management Specialist in the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in Uganda, gave a keynote address, highlighting the key takeaways from the event. She emphasized the importance of creating, registering, practicing, monitoring and evaluating, building and marketing one’s brand, and continuing research and development. She concluded by stating that IP is the heart of industrial revolution and the future.
One participant, a student at Kabale University, shared her experience of having her project idea stolen by a competitor. She thanked the experts for providing valuable information on how to protect her intellectual property in the future. Another participant, a local entrepreneur, expressed his appreciation for the workshop, saying that he has learned a lot about the different types of intellectual property and how to register them. He mentioned that he would be using this knowledge to protect his own business ideas and products
Overall, the Intellectual Property Rights Workshop was a resounding success, and participants left with a better understanding of how to protect their intellectual property. The event was a valuable contribution to Kabale University’s efforts to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development in the region.The hope is that this workshop will be the first of many in the region, helping to promote innovation and protect intellectual property rights for years to come.