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Inventors struggle to protect patents in Africa

17
Jul
2014

By Helen Nyambura-Mwaura JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – When Malagasy entrepreneur Andry Ravololonjatovo came up with the idea of a hi-tech translation service named after a local bird, the Drongo, he hesitated about registering the patent. In many countries in Africa, protection of intellectual property (IP) is still patchy or undeveloped, and many innovators are put off by the onerous and expensive affair of registering their products. In addition, protection is only guaranteed for 10 years,” Drongo’s founder Ravololonjatovo told Reuters. Named after a black-feathered bird found in Madagascar that mimics the calls of other birds, Drongo is developing mobile applications for text translations in international languages like English and French.

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