I have heard and bumped into a couple of entrepreneurs who claim that their idea was stolen by a certain established company. Well, now the government is going to protect entrepreneurs by “strengthening intellectual property rights”. In the 2020 National Budget Speech, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said:
Innovation, which is integral for growth and better job creation is lacking protection and hence suppressed in its infancy. A number of SMEs, artists and other entrepreneurship initiatives collapse owing to unfair practices where other organisations take advantage of inventors work and make duplications. This is despite the inventors having invested a considerable amount of money and time in developing innovative products.
Therefore, Government through this Budget is strengthening intellectual
property rights through capacitating the respective institutions mandated to protect patent innovative products including trademarks and copyrights. This gives exclusive rights, commercialize the invention enabling SME to obtain higher returns on their investments.
Intellectual property is the source of competitive advantage for any business. What is more, investors expect entrepreneurs to be able to protect their inventions or ideas. So the “strengthening” measures will hopefully enable entrepreneurs to improve guarding their inventions against corporate thievery and stimulate co-operation between entrepreneurs and also established companies without fear of having their ideas stolen.