Small businesses urged to protect their intellectual property

By Munesu Nyakudya

HARARE – Small businesses have been urged to protect their intellectual property. Small businesses are at a particular disadvantage, however, because they may lack the knowledge, expertise or resources necessary to prevent the theft of their ideas and products.

Small to Medium Enterprises International Expo chairman Mr Simbarashe Makahamadze said most people in business do not know that they risked losing their intellectual properties if they are not registered and when this happens they may never claim them.

“Most of us young people lose a lot of property because of lack of awareness and not protecting our intellectual property,” said Mr Makahamadze.

“The Zimbabwean Trademarks Act clearly states that you do not have a claim over any unregistered trade but registered companies only,” he added.

Intellectual property is basically a collection of ideas and concepts.

“If you do not go by the common law then you will not win. Please let us register our trades,” he emphasised.

“Let us register our industrial designs, we have got trademarks, industrial designs, inventions, copy rights, we can even go to trade dress and technical knowhow which can be protected as trade secrets, that is all intellectual property and we have enough legislation in Zimbabwe to protect that and we are not doing that”.

“Right now we have three clients who are losing close to a million every year because of counterfeit”.

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