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‘Kuwait works hard on intellectual property protection’

KUWAIT CITY, April 23, (KUNA): Kuwait has been working hard in the past five years to ameliorate intellectual property protection to encourage creativity and invention and attract investments, said US intellectual property attache for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“We saw about five years ago a growing appreciation for the importance of different policies that would incentivize private sector and incentivize people to create, innovate and to also bring investments to Kuwait and to the region,” Peter Mehravari said in an interview with KUNA.

“One of the big incentives is to make sure that when people create or invent something that is protected from being copied.” He stressed that this does not mean that only having clear laws in place, but also enforcing agencies to apply those laws and make efforts apparently.

The Kuwait-based US official estimated that Kuwait and other Gulf countries, driven by their ambitious development visions, have been working to make intellectual property a priority in the past few years. “The future strategic visions of each of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE are about transition which require not only the minimum protection for inventions, creative works, brands but really a competitive framework, because we are not only competing on the level of the region, but we are competing globally,” Mehravari told KUNA. “And if you want to see an innovative company brings its products to Kuwait, then Kuwait needs to have a competitive advantage when it comes to protecting the investment by that company,” he elaborated.

He noted that even when Kuwaiti inventors want to introduce their products to a market, they would look for a market that would protect their inventions better, or might have a police authority that will enforce their rights. “Inventors will not choose markets that provide the basics of IP protection means, but ones with competitive international standards where they can see a big space to create in innovate,” he underlined.

Mehravari affirmed that Kuwaiti inventors, especially in the IT domains, are yearning for effective mechanisms to protect their intellectual property rights. “I have been in Kuwait for 14 months and I see a need for the youth creative community for IP protection, and had many discussions about the problems involves in IP issues and creative products or services,” he said. “They have immediate concerns of their own work. They need guarantees to stop others from copying their work. It is a perception of not what only the law says but the protection on the ground.” He suggested that there is one opportunity for Kuwaiti inventors or artists to establish a community that would work further on IP protection.

“There is a huge need for such a community in Kuwait and in the region to improve public awareness about the legal rights of IP and to help their country to compete globally,” he stated. He added that there is a need for a profession in IP protection to help innovation and creativity thrive, hence keep all types of investments in the region. IP protection includes patent, trademark, copyrights, industrial design, trade secret and data protection. The US official hailed fruitful cooperation with Kuwaiti government to improve IP practices.

“Over the past two years we had absolutely the best engagements with the Kuwaiti government on the IP, and there has been some incredible positive developments,” he said. He revealed that the US is supporting Kuwait’s efforts to ensure the new copyright draft law not only meets Kuwait international obligations, but also provides further incentives for Kuwaiti artists and creators to protect their works in Kuwait and abroad. “This is achieved by joining two important international treaties related to copyrights and the digital space,” he said.

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