PM Hailemariam Suddenly Removes Head of Intellectual Property Office

Tayitu 14th

Prime Minster Hailemariam Dessalgne removed Berhanu Adelo, a veteran EPRDF official from his post of director general of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) as of January 2, 2015.

A letter from the prime minister’s office sent on January 2, 2015, removed Berhanu from his post and assigned Girma Bejiga, who was director of patent at the office, as an acting director general effective the very same day, according to sources.

Berhanu started working as a teacher at Teacher Training institute (TTI) in Bonga and worked up to head Prime Minister’s Office. In addition, he was also Assistant Chief of Justice for the Southern regional state, lecturer at Civil Service College and Minister of Cabinet Affairs. Berhanu was also one of the 36 members of the politburo, where there were nine representatives from the South, along with Hialemarim and Shiferaw Shigute since 2010.

During the 2010 election, he ran against independent candidate Ashebir Woldegiorgis, for the seat in the parliament of Bonga, which he lost to Ashebir.

Girma joined the office in 2005 and worked as junior trade mark examiner, patent team leader and patent director through the years, until his latest assignment as acting director general replacing Berhanu. Girma has a BA degree in physics from Addis Abeba University (AAU) and masters from Italian Turin University in intellectual property. Before joining the EIPO, he was a teacher at different high schools in the Oromia regional state.

EIPO was established in 2008 with the aim of facilitating the provision of legal protection for exploitation of intellectual property in the country, collecting, organizing and disseminating technological information contained in patent documents. It also encourages its utilization, study, and analysis. It recommends policies and legislation on intellectual property. The office is accountable for Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) headed by Demitu Hambisa.

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