An inventor, Mr, Olusegun Abimbola, a graduate of Civil Engineering from Ahmadu Bello University in 1978, Mr. Olusegun Adeleye has cried out to the federal government for what he described as injustice by the European Patent Office (EPO) over his research work which he claimed was an internationally registered world-wide engineering invention of over 20 years, life threatening research and development in Global Environmental Air Pollution Control. He spoke with ESTHER TAIWO over the development. Excerpt
Can you tell us some of the research works you have carried out?
After my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) I initiated the present system of refuse collection, I have all along been interested in environmental protection, I also developed a system of pollution control where I invented a devise to remove pollution from burning fuel
Tell us about this your recent invention?
I recently made an invention I called SHEGTER for which I got a patent NG/P/2011/496 from the Nigeria Patent Office, Abuja in 2011, I improved on it in 2013 and called it SHEGESTER. .
The invention is in the field of environmental technology and it’s an equipment that removes solid pollutants and gaseous pollutants singularly and simultaneously from contaminated gaseous streams coming from burning fossil fuels especially coal.
It helps to reduce the environmental air pollution caused by amongst others, the coal fired electricity plants, the cement industries etc.
Can you expatiate more on the International Patent Right concerning your research?
Suspecting that the invention has a worldwide coverage, I applied for International Patent Right through the World International Property Organisation (WIPO) Patent Corporative Treaty (PCT) System,
by that you choose an individual search authority by the law of that system to check your application and make a comprehensive search all over the world to ensure that your work is not infringing on any previous patent, this is called Prior Art.
Which of the International Patent Office did you choose and why the choice?
I chose the European Patent Office (EPO) because it is one of the two most respected search authority in the world the second being the United States Patent Trademarks Office, I chose EPO because the fee is more affordable for me.
What was the reaction of the EPO to your application?
In my application I mentioned it twice about my Nigerian work and Patent to let EPO know that I have already started work on it, the EPO wrote an International Search Report PCT Chapter One,
and considered all previous Arts at their disposal but neglected this my Nigeria work which I told them in that very important report without bothering to find the details of my Nigerian work, the EPO declared my Nigerian work as irrelevant .
What step did you take on this declaration by the EPO?
I moved ahead to Patent Corporative Treaty (PCT) chapter 2, , I employed European Patent Lawyer to assist me with corrections on any international applications and I paid the lawyer in Euros in what is called the Demand,
the lawyer submitted my corrected application and gave them the details of my Nigerian work, the EPO continued to neglect that my Nigerian work until months after international publication of my application.
What are the rules surrounding international publication of someone’s work?
The rule is that if the applicant does not withdraw his application within a certain period in the PCT, his work will be published internationally and his knowledge given to the whole wide world.
The first report I was given by the EPO misled me, the EPO after the international publication , seeing my European lawyer, now said the irrelevant document is the most important to assess my application and
But why didn’t you withdraw your application before the EPO got it published?
after the international publication, it was too late for me to withdraw and EPO used that my Nigerian earlier declared irrelevant document as their final report called the International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER).
In that report the EPO said because of my Nigerian work, I cannot apply for international patent .
What is the legal implication of that statement by the EPO?
The law says every patent and published document is an important Prior Art but my Nigerian Patent document assessed by Nigerian Patent Office the EPO says is an irrelevant Prior Art.
What do you want the Federal Government to do now?
The Federal Government should come in to fight for its name, reputation and also the Nigerian people.
Why is it for the Nigerian people since the research is solely yours?
This is because the invention can provide up to 10 million jobs for Nigerians which the Europeans have hijacked. Europe has an advantage for me because their fee is lower than that of the USA.
The foreign benefits that should have accrued to Nigeria is taken over by the Europeans because EPO represents 38 European countries which means they can manufacture the invention without paying Nigeria authority.
This is an invention that will address climatic change, global warming, flood and pollution, it’s a very important invention globally.