Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Intellectual Property – Ethiopia’s Experience (continued)

Professor Justin Hughes recently completed a State Department trip to Ethiopia to conduct talks on intellectual property. The U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa's official blog is publishing a series of his posts on the topic. The first was published on June 1, 2017.

In my last blog post, I focused on Ethiopia’s coffee industry; now let’s talk more broadly about Ethiopian’s intellectual property (IP) laws and how those laws potentially impacts the country’s growth.

Ethiopia is almost unique among African countries for its lack of participation in the multilateral treaties that govern the international IP system. There are two main multilateral conventions for IP: the Paris Convention (for patents and trademarks) and the Berne Convention (for copyright law). Today, those treaties have 195 and 183 members, respectively. Ethiopia is the largest economy not participating in the Paris Convention and perhaps the second largest economy not participating in the Berne Convention (after Iran).

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