Monday, December 20, 2010

Dubai SME and WIPO unveil training programme on protecting IP assets

Dubai, December 19, 2010 – Dubai SME, an agency of the Dubai Economic Department, in association with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), opened the first-ever Training of Trainers (TOT) programme on Effective Intellectual Property Asset Management by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai today.
The five-day training programme, running until Dec. 23, will empower trainers to educate SMEs on protecting their intellectual property (IP) assets and leveraging them for further growth.
Sami Dhaen Al Qamsi, Director-General of the Dubai Economic Department, said: “New knowledge, inventions, and innovations create new economic value for the country and its people.  I hope the trainees attending the TOT programme will propagate their knowledge among SMEs and that this is just the beginning of a fruitful association between Dubai SME and WIPO. Education and research are keys to helping people and organizations move up the value chain for enabling sustainable economic growth”.
Commenting on the programme, Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME said creating IP awareness among SMEs is integral to optimising their inherent capacity to innovate and help larger enterprises across industries to move up the value chain.
“Dubai’s SME sector is a critical component of its economy, more so than others as we are service and trading-based.  However, when it comes to intellectual property - be it trade secret, trade mark or design – many SMEs are not fully aware how to exploit them or protect them. I am therefore delighted that WIPO has kindly agreed to organise such an awareness programme starting with trainers,” Al Janahi said. 
Guriqbal Singh Jaiya, Director of the SMEs Division of WIPO said the TOT will be an effective vehicle for building crucial IP asset management competence in the region. “In any knowledge-driven economy, knowledge-based products require protection through the judicious use of IP rights. Businesses should also know how to derive a competitive advantage from such intellectual property assets; otherwise, they will remain a cost and, therefore, may become a liability,” added Jaiya.
WIPO is the UN intergovernmental agency imparting IP-related knowledge and competencies in training and consultancy. The Dubai TOT programme builds on the ongoing partnership between WIPO and Dubai SME to enable local SMEs to be globally competitive and sustainable.
The programme aims to create a critical mass of trainers who will have the basic knowledge and skills to provide preliminary IP assistance to entrepreneurs and students as well as micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) on effective IP asset management.
The TOT programme will also provide a networking platform for trainers. Trainers attending the programme would be able to function either as master trainers in subsequent TOTs or advice SMEs on effectively managing IP assets to develop sustainable business models.
WIPO’s ToT program will cover a wide range of themes, including the role of IP assets in branding (relying on trademarks, design, copyright); role of IP in innovation; managing IP assets in the digital economy; challenges in managing IP in international trade; leveraging IP assets through Licensing, Franchising and Merchandising; and enabling SME Development Agencies to create a toolbox of IP tools and building their capacity to enable SMEs in Dubai for making effective use of the IP toolbox.

The ToT will be based on the content and publications of the SMEs Division of WIPO, including the 12 modules in the IP PANORAMA multimedia toolkit, which were developed jointly by the WIPO and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). This content will be supplemented by examples and case studies, wherever possible from the UAE itself.  The IP PANORAMA toolkit relies on “interactive role play animation-based stories” crafted out of actual business situations involving IP asset management challenges faced by real businesses. The toolkit will help the trainees to become trainers who will be able to impart IP asset management knowledge in a simple and business contextual manner to SMEs in Dubai and elsewhere.

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