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The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) [1] (the “Act”) defines a domestic worker as “a person who is not a member of the family of a person who employs him or her as a househelp”. In effect, a person who is employed to perform domestic chores in any home or domestic setting, do informal work in the home, provide assistance in petty commercial activity, security services and gardening, child minding and food preparation qualifies as a domestic worker where the person in question is not a family member of the employer.[2] Beyond defining who a domestic worker is, Act 651, Ghana’s primary legislation for the regulation of labour and employment issues in Ghana, offers limited protections to domestic workers as they are exempt from the provisions on maximum working hours limit; overtime pay; and rest periods; which are afforded workers in general under the Act[3]. This has led to calls in recent times for a recognition of domestic work as legitimate work and the need for a separate piece of legislation to regulate the employment relationship within the context of domestic work. In response, the Labour (Domestic Workers’) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2408) has been passed to establish a governance framework for...

What is a Patent? A patent is a title granted exclusively to protect an invention within a specific period.   What law governs patents in Ghana? The Patents Act, 2003 (Act 657) and Patents Regulations 1996 (L.I. 1616) provide the legal framework for regulating patents in Ghana. What is patentable? An invention is patentable if: it is new (i.e. it has not been anticipated by a prior art anywhere in the world); it involves an inventive step; and it is industrially applicable. The invention must ultimately provide a solution to a specific problem, particularly in the field of technology. What cannot be registered as a patent? (a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; (b) schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games; (c) methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body; (d) inventions that prevent a country from maintaining public order or morality. How do you register a patent? A patent application must be filed with the Registrar at the Intellectual Property Office and must contain the following: a request containing a petition to the effect that a patent be granted, the name of and other prescribed data concerning the...

What is a Trademark? The Trademarks Act, 2004 (ACT 664) defines a trademark as any sign or combination of signs capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from the goods or services of other undertakings including words such as personal names, letters, numerals and figurative elements.  As such, anyone who registers their trademark will have the exclusive right to the use of the trademark. What is the procedure for registering a trademark in Ghana? An application for registration of a trademark must be made through the Trademark Registry of the Intellectual Property Office. A trademark registration begins with an optional trademark search at the Trademark Registry. The rationale behind this is to ascertain that no identical trademark has been registered or is pending registration in Ghana. Applicants whose principal place of business is located outside the jurisdiction are required to apply for registration through a legal practitioner resident and practicing in Ghana. What criteria must the trademark application meet? Trademark applications must be in conformity with the following requirements: The sign or combination of signs the applicant seeks to register must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the undertaking of the Applicant from the goods or services of...

What is the Purpose of the Real Estate Agency Act, 2020 (Act 1047)? The Real Estate Agency Act, 2020 (Act 1047) (the “Act”) was enacted to regulate real estate agency practice, including the sale, purchase, rental and leasing of real estate.[1]. It also introduces licensing of real estate agents and brokers. Which real estate transactions does the Act regulate? The Act regulates real estate transactions including the sale, purchase, rental and leasing of real estate.[2] The Act applies only to transactions in which there is a principal-agent relationship for instance between a real estate agent or broker and a client. It does not apply to real estate transactions in which a person acts in their own capacity, as an employee, as a trustee pursuant to a court order or where there is no principal-agency relationship.[3] How does the Act affect real estate agents or brokers? Every real estate broker or agent seeking to operate in Ghana must obtain a license from the Real Estate Agency Council (the “Council”). [4]  Additionally, engaging in a real estate transaction in that capacity without a license is a criminal offence.[5] All real estate transactions must utilize the official real estate forms provided by the Council. ...