The United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO through its Global Intellectual Property Academy GIPA has demonstrated its growing interest in Intellectual Property Rights in the Middle East. The GIPA hosted an IP rights seminar in Beirut, Lebanon to comment on the IP situation in the country. The seminar included distinguished guests, government representatives, lawyers and NGOs working to further develop IP in Lebanon. The US delegation included lawyers and representatives from the USPTO. The main theme of the seminar centered on the current status of IP in Lebanon and the region, and the possible steps to be taken to improve the rights of IP owners. Different participants presented topics relating to various issues including:
– Copyright in the internet age
– The international standards for the protection of trademarks
– The enforcement of IP rights in Lebanon
– IP awareness for the protection of consumers and supporting businesses
– Technical assistance and capacity building
The seminar also explored the increasing importance of IP in Official Lebanese circles. The Lebanese customs was singled out for its strides and policies with regards to the confiscation of counterfeited products. Also the removal of Lebanon from USPTO Special 301s priority watch list was highlighted as a concrete translation of Lebanon’s enforcement of IP rights. The seminar finally concluded on the benefits of tough IP enforcement, as the protection of intangible assets will function to protect local IP as well as increase Lebanese companies’ propensity for creativity and innovation.
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