Open Minds: Lessons on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development from Nigeria

A more robust and nuanced understanding of the role IP really plays in society is, in turn, a prerequisite to creating IP systems that drive innovation, economic growth, and human freedom. A holistic appreciation of not just laws and policies, but also practices related to IP and innovation will help developing countries design appropriate, context-specific systems of knowledge governance.

To this end, this chapter offers an analysis of WIPO’s key role in IP training and education in developing countries, a country-specific case study of the Nigerian experience, and some strategic recommendations for creating a more open-minded IP education system. It argues that, despite some criticism, IP training and education programs offered by WIPO and partners such as the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) are extremely effective in achieving their objectives. If these objectives can be aligned with the principles underpinning WIPO’s recently adopted Development Agenda, developing countries could benefit from a richer understanding of the nuanced ways in which IP systems can be creatively designed and exploited to facilitate human development.

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de Beer, Jeremy and Oguamanam, Chidi, Open Minds: Lessons on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development from Nigeria (2013). M. Smith and K. Reilly, eds, Open Development: Networked Innovations in International Development, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), p. 249-72.

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