The Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Bemanya Twebaze has been elected President of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Advisory Committee on Enforcement at its 14th session WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) in Geneva, Switzerland on September 2 2019.

Bemanya will be assisted by Elizabeth Jones of the UK IPO Copyright and Enforcement Directorate and Ray Meloni, Director of Distinctive Signs of the National Institute for the Defense of Copyright and Intellectual Property of Peru.

Bemanya formerly served as the President of Paris Union Assembly of WIPO.

This election is a major milestone for Uganda and has come at a time when Uganda has enhanced protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

In his acceptance speech after the election, Bemanya noted that is a great milestone. He added: “Enforcement is a key aspect in promoting innovation and creativity in member states and thus the need to balance enforcement of intellectual property with members’ development priorities.”

He expressed appreciation to the Director General of WIPO Francis Gurry for the technical assistance extended to member states in building respect for intellectual property.

The URSB enforcement unit has since its creation in 2016 seized infringing goods and saved business owners of losses of approximately Shs 20 billion  (5.4 Million Dollars).

What is Advisory Committee on Enforcement?

The Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) was established by the 2002 WIPO General Assemblies with the mandate to provide technical assistance and carry out coordination in the field of IP enforcement.

The role of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) includes: Coordinating with public and private organizations to combat counterfeiting and piracy with a view to ensuring a balanced and transparent approach to building respect for IP, carrying out public education including information, education and communication materials customized for youth, students, and the public and technical assistance such as legislative drafting and dispute resolution mechanisms.

It also helps in undertaking national and regional training programs for all relevant stakeholders including IP offices, enforcement agencies such as customs, prosecutors and the Judiciary  and exchange of information and experiences on enforcement issues

What is World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

WIPO is a UN organization established in 1967 to encourage creative activities and to promote protection of Intellectual Property throughout the world. WIPO’s current membership is 192 states Uganda has been a member of WIPO since 1973.