International bodies highlight the need for IP expertise in science parks

July 7, 2004

Brussels, 06 Jul 2004

The world intellectual property organization (WIPO) and the international association of science parks (IASP) have called for the managers and staff of science parks and business incubators to better meet the intellectual property needs of their clients and tenants.

The appeal was made during a three day event in Geneva, where participants from 14 countries met to discuss ways to improve IP support for start up companies. Such businesses often rely on research results generated within universities and research centres, and the intellectual property system is seen as the major tool for encouraging the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the private sector.

'In today's knowledge economy, it is important for the management of science parks and incubators to have a good understanding of intellectual property in order to provide tenants with a solid front line support to meet their most urgent business needs,' according to Gurigbal Singh Jaiya, director of WIPO's SME (small and medium sized enterprises) division.

'Science parks are much more than real estate operations, they are increasingly key providers of business development services to their clients and tenants, and IP is one of the most crucial areas in which technology-based businesses and R&D [research and development] institutions will need professional support,' added Mr Jaiya.

At the end of the meeting, WIPO and IASP made a joint commitment to organise international and regional events for the managers and staff of science parks and incubators aimed at enhancing their provision of IP support to early stage companies.

At a separate WIPO event, representatives from 62 member states met to underline the role of the judiciary in the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). WIPO's advisory committee on enforcement (ACE) stressed the importance of continued judicial training and specialisation in the field of IPR.

Dr Kamil Idris, WIPO director general, said: 'The importance of enforcement of intellectual property rights and the role of the judiciary cannot be understated. For true economic, social and cultural development to occur, intellectual property must play a crucial role; for IPRs to play that role they must be enforced through society.'

The committee identified a number of areas where action was needed in order to improve the enforcement of IPR, including civil and criminal actions and remedies, more accurate determination of damages in different legal systems, and reduction of IPR litigation costs.

For further information on WIPO, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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