WIPO Launches National Essay Competition in Nigeria

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The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Nigeria office has launched a national intellectual property essay competition for students (graduate and undergraduate) of tertiary institutions across Nigeria. The organisation is inviting registered students of polytechnics, universities and colleges of education to submit essay entries which discuss the topic “Making innovation work for a green future in Nigeria”.

Accordingly, a panel of 15 expert judges have been appointed by the WIPO Nigeria Office to assess the entries.

Speaking about the importance of the competition, a member of the panel and Managing Partner, GO Sodipe & Co., Prof. Bankole Sodipo said that the importance of the WIPO National essay competition cannot be overemphasized. “It is an intellectual harvest which helps to harness the prowess of the participants and enriches the current IP right regime,” he said.

The panel of judges for the competition are, Dr. Muhammad Murtala Aminu (Faculty of Law, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto); Dr. Desmond Oriakhogba (Faculty of Law, University of Benin); Professor Ruth Okediji (Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law, Co-Director Berkman Klein Center, Harvard Law School); Professor Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan, (Director General, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies); Stella Ezenduka (Registrar, Patents and Industrial Designs Registry); Tunde Mukaila Mustapha (Charge D’Affaires, Nigerian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Geneva); Engr. Dr. Umar Buba Bindir (Bindir Knowledge Center, Yola, and Former Director-General, NOTAP); Toyosi Alabi (Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LLP); Uzoamaka Emerole (Senior Associate, ACAS-Law); Chinwe Ogban (Senior Associate, Jackson, Etti & Edu); Professor Bankole Sodipo (Managing Partner, Chief GO Sodipo & Co.); Altayework Tedla Desta, Head, WIPO Distance Learning Program; Martha Chikowore (Counsellor, WIPO Academic Institutions and Executive Program); Faith Aboyeji (Doctoral Candidate, RMIT); and, Senator Ihenyen (Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers).

Another member of the panel of judges, Senator Iheyen, who is also Lead Partner at Infusion Lawyers, disclosed that the competition will hboost IP awareness among young people and challenge them to think deeply about innovation.

Chinwe Ogban, senior associate, Jackson Etti and Edu described the competition as “a unique opportunity for young minds to engage topical issues in the IP space”, which, according to Uzoamaka Emerole, will afford them an opportunity to “recognize the value of intellectual property and its significance to the future of [Nigeria’s] economy”.

According to the organisers, winners of the competition will receive a wide range of professional and learning opportunities drawn from the WIPO Academy and from several partners in the field of intellectual property.

Entries, which should be no longer than 1, 500 words should be sent to [email protected] on or before midnight of May 26, 2020, with the subject title: Initial.surname_WIPD Essay Competition (e.g. T.Olayemi_WIPD Essay Competition).

Winners will be announced in June.

It will be recalled, that the WIPO Nigeria Office in collaboration with the International Trademark Association (INTA), recently facilitated a webinar on April 27, 2020, to explore the role that trademark law could play in ensuring a green future for Nigeria. The webinar, moderated by Busola Bakinson, Senior Associate, Jackson Etti & Edu, also featured, Shafiu Adamu Yauri, Registrar, Nigeria Trademark Registry, Davidson Oturu, Partner, Aelex Nigeria, Uche Nwokocha, Partner, Aluko and Oyebode and Prof. Adejoke Oyewunmi, Professor, University of Lagos, as panellists.

In an engaging discussion, attended by over 150 participants, the panelists discussed the concepts of green innovation, examined some examples of trademark law in advancing green technologies and products, and reflected on some possible administrative and policy opportunities towards supporting future growth in this area.


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