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          ICC’s BASCAP Launches workshop on maximizing the value of Intellectual Property

          • Bogota, 30 March 2011

          The International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group today launched a new series workshops, “Maximizing the Value of Latin American Innovations Through Intellectual Property.”

          ICC’s BASCAP Launches workshop on maximizing the value of Intellectual Property

          The International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group today launched a new series workshops, “Maximizing the Value of Latin American Innovations Through Intellectual Property.”

          Aim of the workshops is to raise awareness among local firms (particularly small and medium enterprises) as well as policymakers throughout Latin America about the commercial and economic value of intellectual property, to promote better adherence to IP protection laws, and to provide practical tools to companies for managing intellectual assets.

          “This is an excellent opportunity for Colombian businesses to learn more about the value of their intellectual property, as well as the importance of protecting it”, said Juan Carlos Monroy, Director of Colombia’s National Copyright Office. Mr Monroy presented opening remarks during the workshop, where he outlined the package of IP enforcement measures his office is currently proposing. He also highlighted the need for better protection of IP in Columbia and Latin America.

          The workshop introduced two of BASCAP’s cornerstone publications, the Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business and Intellectual Property: Powerhouse for Innovation and Economic Growth. “This is the seventh launch of the IP Guidelines in 6 different languages,” said Allen Dixon, President of International Intellectual Property and Technology Consulting. “We have found that businesses have been quite enthusiastic to learn more about the practical steps they can take to protect their own creativity and innovation in IP-based products and services, as well as to protect against the risk of using counterfeit materials or infringing other companies’ IP rights,” he said.

          The workshop also featured BASCAP’s latest report, Intellectual Property: Powerhouse for Innovation and Economic Growth. “This report is a critical element in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy,” said Jeffrey Hardy, ICC’s BASCAP Coordinator. “We all need to do a better job communicating ‘what IP is’ and ‘why it’s such a valuable part of our economy’. Greater respect for IP – in this generation and the next – will go a long way toward guarding against its theft,” he said.

          The report examines how IP protection benefits the economy in terms of GDP, employment, tax revenues, the promotion of foreign direct investment (FDI) and technology transfers in developed and developing countries. It also shows how IP protection promotes innovation, increases funding for R&D and helps firms realize more value from innovations.

          The workshop series will be launched throughout Latin America and worldwide over the coming year. Firms can benefit greatly from an understanding of how IP protection helps to ensure the return on investment they need to produce a continuous stream of new innovations and creative products and services. The sheer volume of IP with which companies must deal also is growing. Inadequate management of one’s own IP can lead to lost market opportunities and displacement of legitimate sales by counterfeits.

          Mr Hardy stressed the risks imposed by widespread IP theft, pointing to a recent BASCAP report estimating that counterfeiting and piracy cost the global economy more than US$1 trillion lost annually and put more than 2 million jobs at risk. He stressed the importance of building respect for IP across the board, adding, “The business community is outspoken that counterfeiting and piracy are not good for business. Perhaps even more important, however, is the need for governments to recognize that counterfeiting and piracy are not good for governments... Not good for society and not good for development.”

          During the launch, local business leaders also spoke out on the significant problem of digital piracy and counterfeiting in Colombia, along with actions their companies are taking to fight the problem. The workshop was attended by local businesses, government officials, academics and the media.

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