UDSM partners with EU Intellectual Property Office to strengthen IP Programmes

Fri, 01.Mar.2024 18.19

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) awareness and education under the framework of the the Pan-European Seal programme, becoming the first University in Africa to join the programme.  

Under the MoU, in each academic year, UDSM will share with EUIPO a list of best performing students in intellectual property courses as candidates within the framework of the Pan-European Seal Programme for selection to participate in the training and networking activities under the Programme.

EUIPO is the EU agency responsible for registering European Union trademarks and registered community designs in the EU, and for running the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

The MoU, which was signed on 28th February 2024 by UDSM’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. William A. L. Anangisye in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and later countersigned by EUIPO’s Executive Director, João Negrão, in Alicante, Spain, entitles UDSM to participate in the Pan-European Seal programme.

“The University of Dar es Salaam considers this MoU as a very instrumental step in strengthening research and teaching of intellectual property at the University. It will also place UDSM in a unique position in Africa in terms of accessing one of the best resources available at EUIPO for advancing knowledge and practical training in the field of IPR,” said Prof. Anangisye.

Prof. Anangisye commended the hard work and initiatives undertaken by the Coordinator of the Masters of Intellectual Property (MIP) Programme at the UDSM School of Law, Prof. Saudin J. Mwakaje towards attaining “this milestone achievement which will enhance the global visibility and the quality of the intellectual property training programs offered at the University.”

Meanwhile, EUIPO has enthusiastically stated that this MoU is “the first of its kind with a higher learning institution in Africa.” The EUIPO intends to promote and foster the development of an Intellectual Property culture through awareness-raising and educational activities on the strategic importance of protecting, safeguarding and enforcing IP rights in Europe and other regions of the world, in line with EUIPO’s international cooperation strategy.

EUIPO seeks to establish a close and solid relationship with universities for disseminating IP awareness and education earmarking capacity building to students and/or future IP professionals.

Meanwhile, Prof. Saudin J. Mwakaje, who coordinates intellectual property masters programmes (MIP and LL.M in Intellectual Property Law) at UDSM, said that “the implementation of the MoU will strengthen the already existing linkages with EUIPO through the AfriIP Programme and also open new opportunities for collaboration in staff attachment for practical knowledge and experience and IP students internship opportunities at the Offices of the EUIPO”.

In addition, he said that visibility of UDSM and its Masters Programmes in Intellectual Property  would be promoted and enhanced.

Under the MoU, EUIPO commits to give UDSM access, free of charge, to relevant awareness and education materials and activities on IP protection and enforcement produced by the Office as soon as they become available and mainly via e-learning.