Kamil Idris on the Intellectual Property in the Digital Era

Kamil Idris is a Sudanese lead statesman. He is also an international civil servant and scholar. His views on globalization are rather intriguing. Globalization has called into action several innovations around the world. Some challenges, however, arise on the ownership of ideas. In a recent interview, Idris, a former administrator in charge of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), gives his inputs on the various means by which globalization affects intellectual property rights. He calmly pointed out that as a result of globalization, the number of patents submitted all over the world has dramatically increased. Being in the internet era, Idris further reports that some privacy issues have made the Intellectual Property Rights regulations difficult. These challenges as pointed out by Idris include piracy and counterfeiting. He notes that patent applications even in the most developed of countries can be inefficient. Developing countries are, therefore, highly disadvantaged.

Lack of proper training and resources on intellectual property is a setback in most countries. Dr. Idris, however, believes that the services provided by WIPO should be able to help individuals and organizations in developing nations maneuver the complicated process of patent approval. Less than two percent of the total patents applications come from Africa. A primary reason according to Idris is progress without devaluing the traditional knowledge with digital resources. Idris claims that solving this problem would bridge that gap since most foreign companies utilize local skills while giving back very little.

Kamil Idris continues to point out that, developing countries are usually at the mercy of their more powerful counterparts. These countries have very little influence with regards to trade regulations, copyrights, and trademarks. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is making attempts to tailor their IRP framework. As the director of WIPO, Dr. Idris brought into focus some of these ideas. As a result, WIPO copyright treaty and phonograms were established. He helped shed light on these forums through World Intellectual Property Day, April 26th. WIPO and WTO are continually making the efforts to solve arising problems. However, there is still so much that can be done to improve this sector.

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