Protecting Traditional Intellectual Property in Ghana

Intellectual Property Rights broadly means the legal rights which results from intellectual activities in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. Intellectual property laws provide a statutory expression to the moral and economic rights of creators in their creation and the rights of the public to access those creations. The laws also seek to promote, as a deliberate act of Government policy, creativity and the dissemination and application of results and to encourage fair trading which would contribute to economic and social development (see WIPO Handbook, 2004).

Intellectual property is generally divided into two branches, namely, industrial property and copyright. In Ghana, industrial property is administered by the Registrar-General’s Department while copyright is administered by the Copyright Office. The two offices are Departments under the Ministry of justice. Currently, the Industrial Property office, that is, the Registrar-General’s Department administers the following aspects of industrial property; Trademarks, Patents, Industrial Designs including Textile Designs and Geographical Indications.