The Challenges of Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights across the Economic Community of West African States: The Nigerian Experience



Intellectual property rights are those rights that protect the result of creativity, inventiveness and the result of the human intellect. Generally speaking intellectual property is broadly divided into industrial property and copyrights. The first include such intangible but significant properties such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, trade names as well as goodwill, which are often referred to as incorporeal hereditaments. The second is a separate and distinct head of law (ownership right) known as copyright. There are challenges of enforcing intellectual property rights in West African States and these have its attendant devastating effect on the economy in the region. It is obvious that consequent upon the emergence of industrialization in West Africa many people have resorted to infringing works of other people in order to reap where they did not sow thereby depriving the owners of such work of their labour, time and expense. It is for this reason that the law frowns at it by seeing that the owners of these work are not unjustifiable expropriated or reaped by people who are not the producers of such labour. This has rooted deep in our society today thereby reducing the pace of development in West Africa. In this paper we shall substantially highlight the meaning of the concept of intellectual property rights; the meaning of intellectual property, the nature and scope of intellectual property  and the challenges of enforcing intellectual property rights in West Africa and recommendations on ways to tackle these challenges.

Keywords: Intellectual property rights, challenges, recommendations.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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