IP Offices Focus On Educating Younger Population About IP Protection 06/09/2016 by Catherine Saez and Alexandra Nightingale for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Intellectual property rights awareness campaigns are increasingly targeting the younger population, as early as primary school, according to several country presentations at the World Intellectual Property Organization enforcement committee this week. WIPO is also developing an Education Took Kit for teachers of children aged 5 to 18. However for some countries, this education should encompass a broader view on IP than only enforcing rights. ACE meeting Chair Amanda Lotheringen of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, South Africa. The eleventh session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), which is a non-negotiating body, is taking place from 5-7 September. Following the decision made at the last session of the ACE, the meeting this week is mainly composed of presentations of national enforcement measures, and awareness-raising about the importance of respecting intellectual property rights (IPW, WIPO, 27 November 2015). The documents for the session are here. They include summaries of presentations. This week’s agenda [pdf] lists four main topics on which delegates are providing national experiences: Exchange of information on national experiences on awareness building activities and strategic campaigns as a means for building respect for IP among general public, especially the youth, in accordance with Member States’ educational or any other priorities; Exchange of information on national experiences relating to institutional arrangements concerning IP enforcement policies and regimes, including mechanism to resolve IP disputes in a balanced, holistic and effective manner; Exchange of information on national experiences in respect of WIPO’s legislative assistance, with a focus on drafting national laws of enforcement that take into account the flexibilities, the level of development, the difference in legal tradition and the possible abuse of enforcement procedures, bearing in mind the broader societal interest and in accordance with Member States’ priorities; and Exchange of success stories on capacity building and support from WIPO for training activities at national and regional levels for Agencies and national officials in line with relevant Development Agenda Recommendations and the ACE mandate. The ACE has a mandate to carry out technical assistance and coordination in the field of enforcement but has no norm-setting mandate. Young Audience Prime Target for Awareness Raising Raising awareness about the importance of protecting IP rights is one of the tasks of intellectual property offices around the world. Although a number of presenters from national IP offices underlined that high-school and university age young people are most likely to be tempted to use infringing content on the internet, they said IP awareness should be aimed at a much younger age so as to build an IP and innovation culture, and that school education has a large part to play. For example, under the section of the agenda devoted to awareness-raising (summary of presentations available here [pdf]), Sami Benchikh Lehocine, director general, National Office of Copyrights and Related Rights, Algeria, said some 70 percent of its population is under 30 and if those young people are to be reached, appropriate language should be developed to talk about IP. A number of activities have been undertaken by the IP office to reach out to young people to inform them about the office’s work and raise their awareness on copyright and counterfeits. He asserted that they are also working to encourage creation. Xu Haiyan, director of the Publicity Division, General Affairs Office, China State Intellectual Property Office, said the office is trying to foster an IP culture and awareness among young people. A number of pilot IP curriculum are currently implementing IP education curriculum, she said. She argued that the aim is to build a sense of respect and encourage young people to innovate, and instil a sense of protection so that they can use legal means to protect their IP rights as well as the IP rights of others. Eva Kokkinou, head of the Department of Information and Seminar Organization at the Hellenic Copyright Organization (Greece), said the copyright office, which runs under private law but supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is devising educational programmes with teachers for primary and secondary school, so that lessons about copyright be included in primary curriculum. Switzerland remarked on the challenges of its federal constitution with 26 different systems of education, and teachers being reluctant to implement programmes about IP, as it is not considered as a “neutral” subject. Roberta Pál, deputy-secretary at the National Board Against Counterfeiting, Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, remarked on a survey carried out on young people and the fact that they do not really see the difference between legal and illegal sources when they download material. Cooperation agreements have been signed with universities to increase IP knowledge in Latvia, according to Arvis Grīnbergs, project manager at the Patent Office. In Paraguay, IP training and awareness-raising activities have been organised for teachers and their pupils between 13 and 18 years old, according to Héctor Balmaceda Godoy, director general at the Directorate-General for Enforcement, National Directorate for Intellectual Property. Meanwhile, Christoph Trummer, president of the Swiss Musicians Association, presented the “Next Big Thing,” an awareness campaign for the value of recorded music. The campaign includes an online game which familiarises children with keywords from an early age, such “producer,” “owner,” “infringement,” “author,” and “copyright.” He said the campaign takes consumers through the process of making and marketing a record and explain the costly investment required and noting the misconception by the young generation about the legality of downloading music. WIPO Academy: Help Educate Children About IP The WIPO secretariat presented initiatives [pdf] of the WIPO Academy for raising awareness of intellectual property among young people through national educational systems. In particular, according to the WIPO presentation, there has been increasing demand from WIPO member states and in particular from developing countries for assistance with “instructionally-designed IP education resources for their younger generations,” from age 5 to 18. The younger generation has become an important consumer of IP-based products, at a much younger age than before, but lack IP knowledge or has misconceptions about IP, said the presentation. In 2010, the WIPO Academy started the design and development of an IP Education Took Kit: the IP4Kids Teaching tool. The toolkit will provide an interactive approach to IP teaching, the secretariat said. Seeking Appropriateness The non-profit Third World Network commented on the educational activities of the various IP offices. The group said there is a need to have a broader perspective on IP for children and introduce the idea that great works have been inspired through history by previous works, enriching cultural expression. At the outset of the session, on 5 September, the African Group and the Asia Pacific Group underlined the need to have WIPO technical assistance activities be in accordance with the WIPO Development Agenda Recommendation 45, which says IP enforcement should be approached in the context of broader societal interests and in particular development-oriented concerns. India, for the Asia and Pacific Group, the same amount of time is not allocated to the four thematic parts of the discussions, in particular the exchange of information focusing on flexibilities of the IP system, countries’ level of development, and possible abuse of enforcement procedures. Brazil also remarked on the need to promote respect for IP in a sustainable way and the possible harmonisation between enforcement, economic development, and consumer protection. 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