On the need for Intellectual Property Rights in ECOWAS
Presented by: Juliet Ogbodo, School of Law, University of Eastern Finland
Thursday October 31st, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Osgoode Hall Law School, Room 2028
In the present digital economy era, the nexus between trade and intellectual property rights (IPR) is undeniably stronger. IPR have become an imperative part of bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations. Thus, the new generation of trade agreements all make provisions for the protection of IPR. In the global south countries, however, specifically, in West African countries, the struggle to negotiate implementable and beneficial IPR terms in trade negotiations is apparent. The contributory factors to this struggle, besides the lack of capacity, include the failed legal transplantation of IP laws into West Africa during the colonisation period. This research thus examines the limiting factors that exist for West African countries in negotiating IP terms contained in trade agreements. It questions the existing IP legal frameworks in West Africa and argues that the de-colonisation of IP laws in these countries, followed by a tailored IP framework, regulated on the regional level in ECOWAS, has the potential of equipping West African countries to negotiate practical IP terms in future trade negotiations.
Juliet Ogbodo is an early stage researcher at the School of Law, University of Eastern Finland. Her doctoral research focuses on the nexus between intellectual property rights and trade, specifically in the West African region. Juliet holds a master’s degree in International Economic Law from the University of Eastern Finland. Her research interests include regionalism approaches in West Africa, legal transplants, EU law, and the ECOWAS Free Movement of Goods provisions.