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Opinions & Interviews

10 Jun 2019

WIPO chief: Belarus can make money on intellect

WIPO chief: Belarus can make money on intellect

MINSK, 10 June (BelTA) –  Belarus can make money on intellect, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Francis Gurry told the Belarus 1 TV Channel, BelTA has learned.

“Human resources are among the strong sides of your country. The share of well educated specialists is impressive. The country is not rich in natural resources, but today human capital assets are just as important. You really can earn on your intellect,” Francis Gurry said.

Belarus’ market of intellectual products is experiencing robust growth. Over 3,000 items of industrial property were registered in 2018; 62% are trademarks, over 20% are inventions, the rest are industrial designs, new plant varieties and integrated circuits.  Apart from that, the volume of investment coming to the country suggests that the Belarusian market is appealing for foreign companies and that intellectual property rights are efficiently protected in the country. About 5,000 international applications to register trademarks and inventions are received from foreigners every year. Thanks to the cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization, Belarus has developed an up-to-date national system to protect intellectual property rights.

As far as patenting of international inventions is concerned, since 2015 the organization has been receiving applications dealing with artificial intelligence and the number of such applications has been increasing. “This trend will remain in place. There are some issues around Big Data, for example. Who should own it? Such matters should be discussed jointly. In this regard we would like to have a closer look at the experience of the Hi-Tech Park and Belarus in general,” Francis Gurry said.

During his visit to Belarus, the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization met with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko. “It was nice to see his involvement and his awareness of the importance of innovative activities and protection of intellectual property rights,” Francis Gurry said.

During the visit, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the government of Belarus and the World Intellectual Property Organization. “This memorandum is a continuation of our joint work. We will focus on more specific matters, like settlement of disputes in the field of intellectual property and cooperation in the international arena,” he said.

Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Francis Gurry was in Minsk on 3-5 June to discuss protection of intellectual property rights and cooperation with Belarus. Francis Gurry attended a regional seminar on topical aspects of the use of intellectual property rights.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization that coordinates international cooperation in the sphere of intellectual property. The organization is headquartered in Geneva. As many as 192 countries are WIPO members. Belarus and WIPO started collaborating in 1967. Three years later Belarus joined the organization.

The main goals of the organization are to help protect rights to intellectual property, discharge administrative functions as part of international agreements in the sphere of intellectual property.

The WIPO provides considerable assistance to Belarus with developing the national intellectual property system. The main avenues of cooperation include the improvement of Belarusian legislation to bring it into compliance with international standards, the development of the national infrastructure, the assimilation of new information technologies, and personnel training.

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