Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Manila Bulletin, September 16, 2006 | Go to article overview

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)


Byline: Florangel Rosario Braid

WHENEVER IPR or copyright is mentioned, what often comes to mind is protection of the intellectual rights of authors, artists, inventors through patents and trademarks for invention and creative works. Or anti-piracy campaign such as that being waged now by Edu Manzano, chairman of the Optical Media Board against pirated CDs. But there is much more beyond these perceptions. And these include policies that would enhance the copyright environment, improved understanding of what constitutes intellectual property rights or IPR, public awareness and advocacy campaigns and adjudicatory measures. These were among the issues taken up at the recent two-day conference on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Emerging Issues and Future Prospects, a joint project of the Intellectual Property Office, Department of Trade and Industry and the Commercial Law Development Program of the United States Department of Commerce.

The conference theme, managing copyright in the knowledge economy, underscores the central role of the new information technologies such as Internet in economic development. Director-General Adrian Cristobal Jr. stated in his opening remarks the urgency of crafting a national strategy or road map in the deployment of intellectual capital for promoting competitiveness in our knowledge economy. Today, the international framework for IPR management is targeted primarily towards the protection of monopoly rights granted to authors, performers, and producers. But to redress this imbalance, there is need for measures that would facilitate access to knowledge and culture especially to citizens and non-commercial users in developing societies. The key challenge is that of creating incentives to innovate but not to restrict the flow and use of information by individuals across the Internet. Or, as Rep. Junie Cua, chairman of the Committee on Trade and Industry of the House of Representatives, and keynote speaker said, it is recognizing the social function of IPR -- that of protecting the rights of artists, inventors, and scientists, as stated in the Constitution, while at the same time responding to the common good through free and fair access to information.

Dr. Mihaly Fiesor, former Assistant Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Michael Schlesinger of the International Intellectual Property Alliance, and Dr. …

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