RIYADH: The World Intellectual Property Organization signed an agreement with the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property and Umm Al-Qura University to establish WIPO’s first Joint Master’s Program in the Arab region.
This program will strengthen the connection between innovation and entrepreneurship through high-quality intellectual property education, according to a press release from WIPO.
During his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, WIPO Director General Daren Tang signed the agreement along with CEO of SAIP Abdulaziz Al-Swailem and President of Umm Al-Qura University Farid bin Ali Al-Ghamdi.
The importance of incorporating IP education into school curricula was another key theme discussed during the visit with government officials.
Tang emphasized that IP will grow in significance as the economy diversifies and digitizes. He pledged WIPO’s ongoing support for Saudi Arabia’s aspirations to diversify its economy and foster an innovation ecosystem that empowers future generations.
Throughout his visit, Tang engaged in a series of meetings with high-ranking government officials, gaining insights into how Saudi Arabia is translating its Vision 2030 into tangible achievements.
The discussions prominently featured the role of innovation as a catalyst for future growth.
Over the past five years, SAIP has transformed from a mere IP registry into an innovation agency, playing a pivotal role in the Vision 2023 initiative.
At a meeting at SAIP headquarters, Tang had the opportunity to learn about SAIP’s multifaceted work and how its strategy is central to realizing Vision 2030. The launch of Saudi Arabia’s inaugural national IP strategy last year marked a significant milestone toward achieving the vision.
Additionally, the WIPO director general signed an agreement with SAIP on alternative dispute resolution in the realm of IP.
As IP takes center stage in more economies, IP disputes are expected to become more prevalent. This agreement is set to bolster Saudi Arabia’s ADR system while increasing IP awareness on a broader scale.
Tang stated: “These two agreements underscore WIPO’s close and constructive relationship with Saudi Arabia, as well as our shared commitment to leveraging innovation, creativity, and IP for the good of all.”
Furthermore, a trilateral cooperation agreement was inked between WIPO, SAIP and NEOM, cementing collaboration on innovation and IP.
NEOM, a green megacity, seeks to redefine urban development with a strong emphasis on innovation and creativity.
Tang acknowledged the impressive performance of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index, emphasizing that enforcement is crucial to sustaining innovation-driven development.
“IP infringement undermines innovation and devalues creativity, posing economic and societal risks. IP crime is closely linked to other illegal activities, and counterfeit goods jeopardize public health,” he explained.
Addressing IP infringement necessitates a comprehensive approach, and WIPO pursues this through various means, including raising public awareness about IP protection and enforcement, offering legislative support to member states, and conducting capacity-building activities.