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The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) has conducted a study showing that cosmetics and electronics are the items most likely to suffer from copyright infractions.
Of the 37 cases of trade mark infringement brought to the EIPO since its establishment, 90 percent of the cases involve fraud cosmetics and electronics products. Dereje Tsegu, EIPO interim trade mark officer told Capital that cosmetics and electronics are the items that are copied illegally and added “we hope our study will help the proper authorities combat this practice”.
Dereje said that one common problem is when people label a product as being made in other countries when it is actually made here. Since more products are coming from other countries now the practice is getting harder to prevent.
Since its establishment, the office has been promoting technology, creating access to the World Intellectual Property Organization for entrepreneurs as well as protecting inventions, brands and designs, among others.
Economist Frezer Aziz says there is a tendency for others to copy each other in Ethiopia but that it actually ends up hurting their own business and others. “Especially these days given the effects of business expansion due to globalization, and various developments in communication mechanisms, it seems vital to do so. Today, someone in another country using your patent could be as destructive as someone using it in your own town. So registering your patent at home country only will not save your patent from being vulnerable overseas” Frezer said.
Currently over 17,000 trade marks and 45 industrial design trademarks are registered in the EIPO file.
Established in 2003, the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) provides legal protection for intellectual property rights like trademark, patent and industrial designs.