Kamil Idris is a Sudanese national and former Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from 1997 to 2008. He firmly believes in protecting intellectual property, and the benefits it brings to the spread of knowledge and ideas. Content creators, artists and inventors should be able to have their works protected without fear of losing ownership. This encourages innovation to spread far and wide beyond its borders. The digital revolution and the rise of the internet has made this a more pressing matter as information can spread by the click of a button.
In an interview with VentureOutsource, Dr. Idris outlines some of the challenges that come with economic globalization. Failure to protect intellectual property will lead to piracy and counterfeiting of products. To combat this, WIPO has a few treaties and programs in place. The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Phonograms and Performances Treaty (WPPT) provide a framework and basic protection for owners of copyright work. In addition, WIPO provides legislative advice, training programs and workshops, so users are educated on matters dealing with copyright protection.
Dr. Kamil Idris has some advice for companies operating overseas. He advises them to be diligent when it comes to their intellectual property assets, as copyright laws can be different in other countries. He recommends companies choose international partners who they can trust. When making contracts, they should be written by a lawyer, and terms should be clear for both parties. In cases of dispute, the contract should lay out in detail how to proceed. By preparing in advance, companies can come to resolutions quicker and avoid future headaches.
While WIPO is an intergovernmental organization, Dr. Idris affirms they are a neutral party. They offer a platform for countries to voice their opinion and concerns. WIPO will give advice to countries that seek it, but ultimately it’s up to them to implement their own solutions.
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