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Companies Learn About Intellectual Property and How it can Help with Exporting

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
As part of its Export Capabilities Development Series, the Department of Economic Development-Abu Dhabi’s (DED) Foreign Trade and Export Support Division conducted a seminar on intellectual property (IP) and technology transfer. Conducted at the DED headquarters, 30 Abu Dhabi business leaders attended the half-day session.H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdullah, DED Undersecretary, attended. He remarked on the purpose of the export seminars, “To assist companies to export their goods and services, we are offering them events like today to increase their knowledge and skills.” The Undersecretary stressed that this seminar is the latest in a series of export capability events. Since 2009, the DED’s export promotion division has conducted similar events, including trade finance, logistics, and quality standards.  Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Director of Foreign Trade and Export Support, explained on the purpose of the seminar series, “Abu Dhabi is committed to helping companies in the Emirate to export. This series is designed to give company representatives fundamental knowledge to begin exporting or to increase exports.” One attendee, who has attended several seminars, commented about the benefit, “Theses seminars have added to our knowledge to become a more effective and efficient exporter.”This seminar provided information to companies about IP and technology transfer. Dr. Adeeb spoke about the importance of this seminar, “As people know more about intellectual property, its role in helping to develop their companies, and how to protect their IP, they will be confident to develop their own IP and to enter export; this particularly true of our SMEs.” The series program manager stated that this is a priority topic for two reasons. First, as Abu Dhabi companies export, protecting their intellectual property is important, as it provides a competitive advantage. Second, Abu Dhabi companies have opportunities to access other companies’ knowledge through the transfer of IP or technology. This will contribute to Abu Dhabi companies being able to expand into export markets.Delivered by Ms. Sally Shorthose and Mr. Bruno Vandermeulen, intellectual property partners, with London-based law firm Bird Bird; the topics covered ranged from what is intellectual property, how to structure agreements, and how to protect your intellectual property in other markets. Mr. Mark Pinder, Managing Partner Middle East, put the topic in perspective for Abu Dhabi companies, “One of the attendees mentioned to me that Abu Dhabi companies do not know how to protect ourselves, especially when connected to our intellectual property.” He continued, “This is why we are pleased to be able to participate in this seminar, to contribute to helping Abu Dhabi and UAE companies become more competitive by sharing our knowledge.”Ms. Shorthose provided an overview of the different types of intellectual property, how intellectual property can be used by companies, and how intellectual property agreements can be structured. Ms. Shorthose, during her presentation, commented, “It is important to be specific in your agreements; it does not matter if you are licensee or licensor.” One of the attendees said that the information was very helpful to them, “I now know how to begin to protect my business concept ideas.”Mr. Vandermeulen’s discussed intellectual litigation strategies. As an example, Europe was used for how to use the courts, arbitration, and other procedures for protecting a company across multiple countries. Vendermeulen summarized the importance of the issue, “Although intellectual property laws are established by countries, the reality of using IP is across national boundaries. If you watch a French television program on your computer in Germany, the IP law in both countries becomes involved.” One attendee remarked on how this opened his eyes, “I really looked at IP on a country basis. The presentation will cause our company to look at this issue in a broader, more strategic way.”The seminar’s program manager concluded that the day was successful, “Based upon the initial feedback, the day was successful. Those attending learned something that they can take back to their companies. This will help the company to grow and help develop their export potential.”
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