First Arab Satellite Channel On IP Rights Launched In Egypt 29/07/2008 by Wagdy Sawahel 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)By Wagdy Sawahel for Intellectual Property Watch CAIRO – In a bid to promote awareness of intellectual property rights issues and provide information about IP in the Arab world, the first dedicated IP Arab satellite channel has been launched. Based in Smart Village in Cairo with offices in most major cities of the world, the first independent IPR satellite channel will have exclusive programmes that tackle IPR issues regionally and globally. The new channel, launched on 7 July and reporting in both Arabic and English, will broadcast on NileSat. ‘The idea behind establishing a satellite channel dedicated to IP rights is to strengthen awareness in IP issues and give a clearer image of the IP situation in the Arab world. The new satellite channel is intended to a credible source of information that satisfies the growing interest in issues relating to IP. It will also contribute to the promotion of IP awareness in the region and around the world,” said Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh organisation, an Arab organisation for global professional services including intellectual property rights. Abu-Ghazaleh is owner of the new channel. In 2004, Abu-Ghazaleh launched a one-of-a-kind project, the ag-IP-news agency, a specialised global intellectual property news agency. Aims and Objectives The new satellite channel called Talal Abu-Ghazaleh intellectual property rights television will focus on the wider use of key intellectual property protection tools including patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets in stimulating technological innovation, creativity, research and development, and the use and commercialisation of research results and inventions generated in Arab countries. It also will concentrate on building awareness and providing a clearer understanding of the legal, economic, technical, and social dimensions of IP protection in relation to important issues to the Arab world such as the preservation of biological diversity, the protection of traditional knowledge, and the protection of expressions of folklore. New Tool for Increasing Knowledge Access and IP Creation Magdi Tawfik Abdelhamid, researcher at Cairo’s National Research Centre, told Intellectual Property Watch, ” this satellite channel could be considered a vital tool for development of knowledge-based economy, as none of the 22 Arab countries – home to about 300 million representing 5 percent of the world’s population – is classified as economically advanced or scientifically proficient and 6 Arab states are designated least developed countries.” Abdelhamid added, “Although studies indicated that Arabs have more personal computers per person than any other developing region except Latin America, they have even less access to the internet than people in sub-Saharan Africa as the Arabic content on the internet is ranked in the 20s [between 20-30 percent of global content], the number of Arab internet users is estimated at 5 million and the number of Arabic sites a mere 1 percent of the World Wide Web.” “This means that this new satellite is extremely needed for transferring information and knowledge related to IPRs to the Arab world,” Abdelhamid said. “The new satellite could also be used for promoting the culture of innovation and competitiveness among businesses and knowledge-based institutions and promote links between scientists at universities and research and development (R&D) institutions with the aim of producing intellectual property,” Abdelhamid said. “None of the top 15 countries which have submitted international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty were from the Arab world and the number of scientific publications originating in Arab region account for only 1.1 percent of the world total.” The PCT, managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, allows filing in one country to apply in other member countries. Ensuring Locally Appropriate IP Rights Tarek Saif, scientist at Egypt’s National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, told Intellectual Property Watch that “the new satellite should not only focus on launching anti-piracy and counterfeiting campaigns for the foreign industry benefit, but it should examine the claimed detrimental effects of counterfeiting and piracy on the economy and society as it is subject to a considerable margin of error.” Saif indicated that the projected economic benefits that could be resulted from global IP protection are difficult to predict because of the highly complex economic relationships involved in commercial operations, such as technology transfer and foreign direct investment. Unifying Arab IP Legislation Mohammed Kuchari, associate professor at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia, told Intellectual Property Watch that the new satellite should also help in harmonising and unifying the Arab legislation in the field of intellectual property by presenting the various aspects of patents, trademarks, industrial design and copyright in order to prescribe their bases and effects and to propose the basic lines for formulating them into laws. Kuchari added that it should also contribute in developing a common Arab view in working with the World Trade Organization (WTO). At present, only 12 Arab countries have formally joined the WTO, while seven others are still negotiating for accession. Wagdy Sawahel may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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