An intellectual property lawyer, Mr Rockson Igelige, has insisted that the intellectual property industry and those who can claim copyright, trademarks, patents or design rights must be conversant with the laws that directly affect or indirectly impinge on their rights and obligations, as they deploy their God-given talents in creating and re-creating in the creative sector.
While speaking at the Delta State Talent Development Workshop in Warri recently, Igelige said intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds, adding that this forms the fulcrum of the legal regulatory framework in place in Nigeria, to protect talent-driven works.
With the theme “The Legal Regulatory Framework, including Substantive Laws, that Aid or Impact on the Commodification of Talent in Nigeria”, the legal mind said the framework consists of laws that govern directly intellectual property in Nigeria, as well as those that indirectly impinge on the exercise of creative, inventive or artistic freedom in the talent industry.
According to the Warri, Delta-based legal practitioner, as authors, artists and other talented persons ply their trade, they must be conscious, vigilant and mindful of the fact that there are laws in different jurisdictions that protect the reputation of each and every individual member of the society, religious sanctity, privacy, confidentiality and even the integrity of certain government institutions (such as the judiciary and the legislature) and generally the moral fabric of the society. Failure to acknowledge or accept this fact would almost certainly lead to a breach of such laws and lead to disastrous money loss or even imprisonment.
This category of laws, he explained, is meant to strike a balance between society and individuals, so as to create harmony, thereby leading to peaceful conduct and orderliness in the society.
According to him, “Thus as authors, performers and other talented persons move from one place to the other, from one state to another or from one country to another, in the course of plying their trade, they must be conscious of these laws.”
Continuing, he said the laws that aid the commodification of talent in Nigeria are
The Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004
The Trade Marks Act, Cap T13, LFN 2004, The Patents and Design Act, Cap P2, LFN 2004, The Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2019, and The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
He added that there are several ways that talent could be profitably exploited under the laws, mostly through five types of economic advantages that anyone who possesses a creative talent can derive from them. These advantages are: Practising or exclusivity, licensing and cross-licensing, litigation, use of intellectual property (IP) as collateral and in exchanges, and deterring.