The topics before the WorldIntellectual Property Organization are “Defining and Measuring Access toKnowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property” and “Protecting IndigenousPeople’s Intellectual Property in Documenting Traditional Medical Knowledge”.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) serves a great purpose asit promotes the protection of intellectual property. Thus far, WIPO contains191 member states.I. Defining and MeasuringAccess to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual PropertyLike other participants in theUnited Nations, The Republic of Zimbabwe holds a Permanent Mission to the UN. Accordingto the official UN site, Zimbabwe continues to be a factor in peace-keepingaround the world and is a firm believer of burden sharing and multilateralism.”The PermanentMission is at the frontline in clarifying issues concerning our country, and indefending our hard-won freedom” – Frederick Makamure Masiiwa Shava, Ambassador and Permanent Representative After Zimbabwe’s earned independencyon the 18th of April 1980, the republic has since contributed tomajor civilian and property protection programs.
One of which is WIPO. The Republicof Zimbabwe joined WIPO in 1981, gaining accession on the 29th ofSeptember 1981, and joining the force shortly after, on the 29thof December 1981. The issue of stolen and unprotectedintellectual property is extremely common in the vast continent of Africa, asrare traditional writings and inventions cost far more than one would expect.Thus, enforcing laws and treaties in order to protect the continent isextremely imperative, especially in The Republic of Zimbabwe. To begin, A Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act (26:05) wasestablished on the 10th of September 2004, tending to Competition, Copyright and Related Rights(Neighboring Rights), Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, IP Regulatory Bodyand Traditional Cultural Expressions, as mentioned on the official WIPOsite. This law covers everything from literature, to music—protecting theinnovative minds’ properties, and showing serious repercussions for those who donot abide by the law. Additionally, Zimbabwe instituted two Trade MarksAmendment Acts, one of which was entered into force on 2010, the law givesretroactive immunity and protection to all trademark entries belonging to Zimbabwe,and it also allows for penal damages awards that help punish those who participatedin flagrant infringements.
Furthermore, it offers a broader scope to themeaning of a ‘mark’, and includes notarization for collective marks. The secondlaw is the Trade Marks Act which was established on January 1975.Aside fromthe overflowing laws implemented for the protection of intellectual property,Zimbabwe has signed treaties with other fellow members of WIPO, to ensure theprotection of the knowledge that comes from Intellectual Property. Firstly,Zimbabwe signed the “Protocol Relating to theMadrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks” which isan agreement that helps protect the properties of all participating countriesby the help of one another. Moreover, Zimbabwe joined the Patent CooperationTreaty that makes it possible to ask for a patent protection in more than one country.All in all, Zimbabwe will continue on protecting IP as they are extremelyessential basic human rights.