THE PROTECTION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL WORKS AS A MEANS OF PROMOTING INNOVATION: A COMPARATIVE BASIS OF NAMIBIA AND BURKINA FASO
For years intellectual property (IP) has been an area that has been neglected in its protection and promotion in comparison to other types of the property despite its uniqueness. There is more neglect in industrial designs, specifically from innovators from developing countries, because of the lack of assistance to innovators or government prioritizing areas concerned with the public interest. IP does not only benefit its creators. However, it has contributed to the economies of many countries. Hence the need to have effective legal systems that recognize IP and have remedies and enforcement mechanisms. When there are mechanisms in place for protection, it gives innovators more confidence and helps them develop new technology. Both Namibia and Burkina Faso are members of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization. They are obliged to apply the minimum in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement and related WIPO treaties. A comparative study was made on three-dimensional work to identify the strengths and shortcomings of the applicable national laws. The findings show that laws in Burkina Faso are clear and specifically provide for the protection of three-dimensional in terms of all IPRs, while Namibian laws, apart from copyright law, do not expressly provide for three-dimensional. However, the provisions are broad enough to protect three-dimensional. It is recommended that the legislature revises current laws to be clear and adequate for protecting three-dimensional.
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