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Intellectual Property

Strengthening the rules, regulations, and policies around intellectual property (IP) is a primary focus of CLDP’s technical assistance to foreign governments. Intellectual property protection plays a vital role in promoting innovation and small and medium-sized enterprise development, while also supporting knowledge-based industries that drive GDP growth, employment, and foreign direct investment. As a key component of economic development, CLDP’s partner countries greatly benefit from an improved intellectual property system as they shift focus from traditional manufacturing and agriculture to higher-value and more innovative products and services. In this context, CLDP provides capacity building training and technical assistance to government officials, judicial counterparts, lawyers, universities, and the private sector on a variety of key IP-related issues, including protection and enforcement, litigation, technology transfer, and innovation ecosystems.

Protection & Enforcement 

CLDP programming related to the effective enforcement of IP rights focuses on the responsibilities and activities of public officials and private sector representatives in the following three areas:

  • the courts, including substantive subject matter workshops for the judiciary and administrators, assistance in the development of substantive subject matter and procedural resources, and timely adjudication and publication of court decisions;
  • the lawyers, including support for continuing legal education on issues arising from the exercise of IP rights, regardless of the remedies sought (e.g., civil or criminal); and
  • law enforcement officials, including those government officials responsible for the investigation and/or prosecution of IP rights violations.

At one end of the spectrum, enforcement of IP rights may be accomplished wholly within the private sector (e.g., private settlement of commercial and civil issues arising from IP rights without law enforcement, prosecutorial or judicial involvement) or, at the other end of the spectrum, require extensive participation by public officials (e.g., customs agent, prosecutor, judge) when seeking criminal remedies. CLDP programming for law enforcement officials is limited to educational and awareness activities related to the recognition of IP rights violations, such as counterfeiting and piracy, and administrative actions available to such officials.  

Intellectual Property Courts

A critical aspect of the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights is the timely disposition of cases involving IP issues brought before civil and criminal courts, including special courts or tribunals with IP expertise. CLDP programming for the judiciary can encompass the full spectrum of subject matter, from basic concepts of IP (e.g., patent, trademark, copyright) and case and docket management, local jurisprudence and court procedures, economics and deterrence sentencing, to global best practices. Technical assistance programs can also include the development and publication of substantive resources for judges and court administrators, such as IP judicial bench books, judicial conferences, and procedural guidebooks, as well as the timely publication of court decisions. While primarily focusing on courts of first instance, CLDP judicial programs on IP matters often include select higher court members, with the goal of improving the volume, quality, timing, and consistency of IP-related case adjudication.

Technology Transfer 

Technology transfer is an essential tool to ensure academic research can enter the marketplace through intellectual property protection. An IP-based technology transfer model gives innovative startups and individuals economic incentives to commercialize their research and exercise greater market power, while also benefiting society. In this context, CLDP provides technical assistance to government officials, universities, technology transfer offices, and research centers focused primarily on the commercialization of technology. CLDP technology transfer programs often include key aspects of commercialization, including valuation of technology, licensing agreements and negotiation, and IP management. By improving the process through which innovation resulting from research and development (R&D) enter the marketplace, CLDP is helping promote technology-based entrepreneurship and innovation in partner countries, driving economic growth and diversification.

Innovation Ecosystems 

CLDP works to strengthen links between academia and industry partners to promote an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive. CLDP also fosters collaboration between universities in partner countries and U.S. and European universities with a focus on the development of technology-based startups. CLDP’s exchange programs provide our partner universities seeking to build their innovation ecosystem with strategies on how to best support the development of startups and new technologies in an academic setting.

Areas of Expertise