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IPR - the key to economical benefit

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, July 4
Imagine registering a smell like part of your new business. This is possible under some countries Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislation. This issue became relevant last week thanks to a seminar on IPR in Georgia organized by the USAID’s Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) on June 30. Explaining the varieties of generic IPR, Timothy Trainer, President of the Global Intellectual Property Strategy Center, delivered a very impressive lecture for the Georgian media. Trainer started his career as an attorney for the US Customs IPR Branch and has been involved in IPR issues for over 20 years.

Trainer was invited to Georgia to study the country's case and give recommendations on how IPR can help product/service promotion, business development and economical growth. Patent, trademark, copyright - the main types of IPR - are key in generating revenues for companies. What’s interesting about trademarks is that in certain countries you can even protect a particular color, smell, logo or word for the product you just have put in the marketplace.

Trademarks bring products beyond its real characteristics as they create an image of the company. This image may be more important than the real product. Let's mention the case of Coca Cola, a company that has managed to protect its name on the world market for hundred of years creating a trademark value estimated by experts in USD 770 billion, which according to Trainer many governments could not afford. Trainer stressed the necessity for people to understand the benefits of ownership on intellectual property in business growth.

When talking about patents it is important to make sure that what you are offering the marketplace is something absolutely new. “For protecting trademark's rights and patents you must apply to the Governmental office which has to examine them and give you the relevant permissions” Trainer said. In Georgia, to register any intellectual property form one should address Sakpatenti the country's National Intellectual Property Center which may or may not accept the application in the frames of law. As for Copyright registration, Trainer said is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended for authors to protect their works.

The individuals or companies stepping in the great world of production should make sure they protect their trademark. Moreover customs should be regulating importation and police should be mobilized for any relevant investigation. It is very important to educate the business sector but education will not eliminate the risk of IPR theft. "The situation in Georgia is not different from other countries facing the same challenges, so improving educational background through trainings and seminars is very important encouragement for the businesses,” Trainer said hoping to make people better understand the subject of IPR.