By Olugbemisola Michael
Service Business is a commercial enterprise that provides work performed in an expert manner by an individual or a team for the benefit of its customers. The typical service business provides intangible products, such as accounting, banking,consulting, cleaning, landscaping, education, insurance, treatment, and transportation services. (Business Dictionary)
Today I will be focusing on the service companies’ challenges because they constitute 60.1% of Nigeria GDP (2017 est) Wikipedia. These service companies due to the nature of their businesses at times come up with novel idea Known as intellectual properties .Intellectual Property- is original creation of innovation, idea or work. Before an innovation can be said to be an intellectual property, a thorough search must be done to ascertain that nobody has ever done such a thing, if it has been done before then, it has never been filed for patent. It must be novel, before it could be filed as an intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Right protects novel ideas in Nigeria. Despite the protection by the law SMEs are still facing serious challenges with their intellectual properties. To corroborate this, let me share with you a true life story.
Years ago a poor university lecturer came up with a beautiful innovative shrewder. This man does not have financial capacity to patent his intellectual property and also get working prototype, so he when to friends, and influential individuals and the government to help him patent his idea and get prototype but there was no feasible assistant.
Few years later his novel idea was brought to live by someone else who out Nigeria who manufactured the product and was largely purchased by Nigerians. That appliance is yam pounder. He was not compensated for his stolen idea. Thought of the injustice took him to his grave early. Sad part of the story is that he was buried with his potential that should have turned the ec onomy around.
The Bureaucracy and high cost of patenting intellectual property, Copyright Infringement, lack of rigorous enforcement of the law that protects original owner of idea serve as deterrent to innovators which demotivate and impoverish them.
However, if an initiative is set up to collaborate with SMEs in addressing the stated challenges, wealth of potentials will be unleashed.