Tanzania earns global recognition in intellectual property matters

TANZANIA: TANZANIA has earned global recognition for its efforts to enhance capacity for dispensing justice in the field of intellectual property.

The recognition has come recently following initiatives to educate judges and magistrates in providing them with a nuanced understanding of intellectual property laws and effective case handling.

Chief Court Administrator Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel explained that Tanzania secured the second position globally for the extensive participation of judges and magistrates in training, with Egypt leading the way.

Prof Gabriel remarked this when addressing the journalists about various endeavours undertaken by the Judiciary.

The efforts aim to strengthen justice delivery in cases related to intellectual property.

Among the notable achievements highlighted by Prof Gabriel was the development of specific guidelines for intellectual property tailored for judges and magistrates.

He noted the collaboration between Tanzanian courts and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) resulted in guidelines covering copyrights, trademarks, patents and industrial designs.

“Through collaboration with WIPO, Tanzanian courts have prepared guidelines on copyrights, trademarks, patents and industrial designs. These guidelines will serve as references for judges and magistrates when handling intellectual property cases,” explained Prof Gabriel.

He also mentioned the active participation of judges and magistrates in distance learning programmes focused on intellectual property.

Prof Gabriel said in 2022 and 2023, WIPO provided sponsorship for 250 judges and magistrates to study these subjects through distance learning.

He stressed that distance learning initiatives significantly increased participants’ understanding on intellectual property.

Furthermore, Prof Gabriel disclosed that the Judiciary plans to hold graduation ceremonies for approximately 250 judges and magistrates who participated and successfully completed the intellectual property courses.

“This demonstrates that the Tanzanian Judiciary currently boasts a substantial number of judges and magistrates specialising in this area, providing excellent services for cases involving intellectual property and offering education to various groups, including innovators, businesspeople, companies and industrial owners,” he emphasised.

He also commended the active involvement of Tanzanian judges and magistrates in prominent international judges’ conferences organised by WIPO annually in Geneva, and through virtual platforms.

These conferences serve the purpose of facilitating the exchange of experiences and discussions on best practices for handling intellectual property cases.

“Since 2019, a total of approximately 60 judges and magistrates have participated in these conferences,” explained Prof Gabriel.

Through these meetings, Tanzanian judges and magistrates have gained significant experience in effective approaches to handling intellectual property cases from other countries.

Other achievements highlighted by Prof Elisante include collaborative efforts between the judiciary and WIPO, joint workshops, the compilation of summaries of decisions from the High Court and the Court of Appeal of Tanzania related to intellectual property to aid judges in their references.

He also noted the successful publication of Tanzanian court decisions on the WIPO website, a proud achievement for the Judiciary.

The collaboration between the Tanzanian Judiciary and WIPO commenced in 2019, and on March 5, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to formalise the partnership, expanding the scope of collaboration to continue improving judicial activities in the field of justice delivery.

Areas of collaboration include the exchange of experiences in justice delivery and capacity building for judges and magistrates through meetings, conferences and various seminars.

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