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Can you copyright your brilliant business idea?

Intellectual property is a complex area of law and also one of the most misunderstood. In Zimbabwe, our sources of copyright law are the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act [Chapter 26:05] and various court decisions where the meaning, nature and scope of copyright are defined.

At a recent IP event held in Harare, Zimbabwe, the following scenario was presented:

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Not surprisingly, most of the delegates were of the view that what took place was illegal. What followed was a discussion on whether the particular case fell within the scope of copyright or patents and what the implications of each were. In fact, while Dylan’s conduct may be considered morally reprehensible, Anesu cannot take legal action because IP law provides no legal protection to her.

In an article published by IP Watchdog, the writer states the following:

“Copyrights protect expression and patents protects inventions, and neither protect ideas. In both cases the idea is the first critical step, but without some identifiable embodiment of the idea there can be no intellectual property protection obtained and no exclusive rights will flow unto you.”

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Nokuzola Ndlovu, part of MawereSibanda’s IP team, was one of the panellists at a recently held IP event in Harare.

Copyright does not protect ideas; it does not protect even brilliant, award winning ideas.

For expert advice, contact our IP team.