The League of Arab States celebrated World Intellectual Property Day at a conference in collaboration with SMAS-IP, a leading firm in economic development in the Middle East.
During the celebrations marking World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on 26 April, both organisations discussed challenges facing the implementation of intellectual property laws and the impact of piracy in the Arab World.
The two day conference was entitled “Challenges of Implementing Intellectual Property Laws in the Arab World”. Featuring several Arab and international speakers, each talked about their experience of saving intellectual property.
“We want to promote the culture of intellectual property rights in the Arab countries,” said Maha Bekheet, head of the Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Unit of the Economic Sector at General Secretariat of the League of Arab States. “This conference highlights the impact of piracy, which threatens Arab and global economies, causing unimaginable losses to creators in all fields.”
The conference witnessed the participation of many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, and Bahrain, as well as representatives from EU countries, the US and India.
The speakers also discussed several problems occurring in their countries regarding Intellectual property.
Other issues discussed included: raising awareness of Intellectual Property and its connection to economic development; the importance of the enforcement of IP laws on borders; and the importance of coordination and knowledge sharing to protect cultural products from piracy.
“IP laws face a lot of challenges in the Arab world,” said Nidal Al-Kharouf, the regional CEO of SMAS-IP.
Nidal also asserted that Arab countries are in desperate need of teaching the culture and concepts of IP rights in faculties of law. He added that they should also provide creators, researchers and stakeholders with up-to-date information to benefit from IP laws.
Also the misuse of public domain subjects and patents were a part of the talks during the conference. “We don’t have an official clear definition of a patented at the legal books, and that’s a problem” said Hussam El-Den El-Sagher, Head of the Commercial Law Section, Faculty of Law, Helwan University.
The World Intellectual Property Organization is celebrating this year’s World Intellectual Property Day under the slogan “Get up, stand up, for music”.