Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab Society for Intellectual Property
Under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Sami Gammouh, Minister of Industry and Trade in the presence of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab Society for Intellectual Property (ASIP) and representative of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Ms. Martha Friedli and a host of high ranking officials, the Well-Known Trademarks Conference 2012 was inaugurated at the Amman Marriott Hotel April 25-26, 2012.
The two-day Conference is organized by ASIP in cooperation with the WIPO on the occasion of the World Intellectual Property Day April 26th.
In his opening speech, the Minister highlighted the need to intensify efforts to promote awareness on the significance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) awareness.
“I highly praise the organization of this event on the occasion of the World IP Day because of the great value of the intellectual property assets to the national economy,” Gammouh addressed the attendants.
“Since the time of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Jordan has been committed to implementation of the trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). The government has been also very keen in selecting competent human capacities in the enforcement of IPRs and has also maintained very good relations with the entities concerned with IPRs globally,” the Minister concluded.
From her part, WIPO Representative addressed the participants saying “I believe that we are at a very interesting juncture in the history of Trademark Law because in our lifetimes, we will see the concept “trademark” evolve into something that will find its way and consolidate in the virtual world. We will probably need to be innovative to deal with more situations of Internet presence and different types of protection and enforcement.”
“Intellectual property promotion and protection is however not the end goal, but a means to look for innovative answers to current social and economic challenges,” Friedli said.
At the commencement of his speech, Abu-Ghazaleh arriving from airport to participate at the Conference after taking part in UNCTAD’s meetings held in Doha.
He firstly said that he objects a lifetime pension law for members of the Lower and Upper Houses which grant them this privilege regardless of their service periods. He also requested at least that the Law be amended to become optional for only those who need it.
“It's needless to say that the country suffers a budget deficit and this proposed law will increase this deficit,” Abu-Ghazaleh said.
At the same time, he announced that if the law to be applied, he will request the transfer of his pension to the Al Hussein Cancer Center similar to his salary which was also transferred to the Center during his service as a senator.
“In all cases, transparency implies that we reveal to citizens the total annual burden accumulating as a result of this law which will be repaid from their taxes.”
Addressing the theme of the Conference, Abu-Ghazaleh stressed the significance of this Conference in reviewing, analyzing and understanding the latest developments in the IP field relating to Well Known Trademarks, to share experiences and ideas, and to benefit from a better understanding of the current environment in our collective and individual efforts to gain a competitive edge in the market for countries and our businesses.
“Fundamental and rapid transformations are underway in the economic, environmental, social, technological and political spheres which are deeply affecting and are affected by every aspect of human activity at the individual, social, local, national, regional and international levels. The greatest challenge before all of us in this highly fluid and complex environment is to keep abreast of, to adapt and, eventually, to master the forces at play in the world today.”
“As a member of the new "WTO panel on defining the future of trade" I look forward to working with the panel, under D.G. Pascal Lamy leadership, in identifying and addressing 21st century trade challenges, including TRIPS. It is no surprise that this new and changing global environment is also affecting all aspects of intellectual property whether it is concepts and definitions, public policies, the legal environment, the business perspective or the impact of technology,” he added.
Therefore, Abu-Ghazaleh pointed out that the world of IP assets is becoming huge in size and value saying that “we feel that we have a tremendous responsibility in leading the awareness towards the importance of evaluating and protecting and efficiently managing your most valuable IP assets which became more valuable than the business’s tangible assets. One leading example is Google's value as a well known trademark estimated at $114 billion while its current market capitalization reached $169 billion!”
Abu-Ghazaleh announced that ASIP is working on three major initiatives related to the Conference: Introducing an Arab Valuation Expert "qualification program", The establishment of an Association for Arab Brands that will gather owners of brands in the Arab world and assist them in managing, enhancing and protecting their trademarks and The promotion of valuation of Arab brand names and other IP assets.
“In my view, our challenge will be to come up with new ideas and fresh approaches to carry them through to wide acceptance and application with a view to making progress towards a clearer, more up-to- date and better harmonized system which can help countries and businesses get on with their primary task of providing the best services and products at the most competitive rates to citizens and consumers,” he concluded.
The Conference will give an excellent opportunity for businesses to know more about their trademarks and how to protect them with speakers from around the world tackling the recent developments in laws and regulations, protecting of Well-Known Trademarks (WKM) and management and unfair competition law in addition to other important issues.
Mr. Mutasem El Dmour, ASIP executive director said:"We are really excited to be part of the World IP Day in this event through which we hopefully will be able to cover major issues regarding well-known trademarks."
He added:"The event will tackle provisions contained in the Paris Convention; the TRIPS Agreement; WIPO Joint Recommendation on Well-Known Marks, and practical examples on the application of the criteria for determining WKM and famous marks."
Ag-IP-news Agency (www.ag-ip-news.com), the Only Specialized Global Intellectual Property News Agency will cover the event as the Media Partner.