Azerbaijan: CLDP Conducts IPR Workshop for SMEs
From February 27-28, 2017, CLDP conducted a workshop on IPR for 25 entrepreneurs, IP attorneys, and government officials in Baku, Azerbaijan. The workshop aimed to raise awareness and teach the fundamentals of copyrights, trademarks, patents, and licensing, with the objective of empowering small- and medium-sized enterprises to manage their IP issues more strategically as they become increasingly commercial.
To achieve this, CLDP called upon the expertise of Pejman Sharifi, patent attorney and partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, and Darius Graham, director of the Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins University. The experts, along with their counterparts from the Azerbaijani government's copyright and patent offices, spent the first day of the program overviewing the many benefits of a robust IPR regime. Experts also compared the legal frameworks for copyrights and trademarks of the United States and European Union. On day two, participants received more in-depth information on the patent process, and also covered key aspects of IP management. Finally, they discussed engagement with tech transfer at the university level, including the many benefits of promoting tech transfer as a mechanism to develop technology start-ups. This portion of the workshop concluded with a group exercise in which participants had to think of an invention, build an imaginary start-up based on the invention, and develop an IP strategy for their start-up.
As a result of this workshop, entrepreneurs of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Azerbaijan will be better able to utilize intellectual property protections available to their businesses for commercial and economic growth and development. Additionally, the Azerbaijan State Copyright Office and State Committee for Standardization, Metrology, and Patent will have inreased capacity in their efforts to improve awareness of the intellectual property rights available to Azerbaijani entrepreneurs and increase the extent to which small and medium enterprises utilize the resources of such agencies to facilitate business growth.