Implications of the International Intellectual Property Regime for the North African Countries

6 February 2020. From 18:30 | Workshop | English | IEMed, Barcelona
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Walid Abdelnasser, director of the Office for Arab Countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), reviews the historical development of the intellectual property system in the Maghreb and the Middle East, the opportunities and challenges it offers and the role of WIPO in socioeconomic development.

The Paris Convention of 1883 set the stage for the creation of the intellectual property system (IP). The first Arab country to join was Tunisia (1884), followed by Morocco (1917). But it was not until after the independence processes that these countries began to address this issue, such as Libya, which introduced patents in 1959.

Likewise, the creation of WIPO in 1967 gave a new impetus to the states of the region: cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations for the adoption of the intellectual property system boosted their economic development. According to Abdelnasser, WIPO has helped all countries in the region to develop their own Intellectual Property programs, with the exception of Libya due to the instability of that country.

This organization also creates public-private partnerships to address the challenges facing different states and develops the necessary infrastructure for the effective implementation of the IP system. In this sense, Morocco was the first country to join in 1971; Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia in 1975 and, lastly, Libya in 1976. But what opportunities and challenges do these countries still face?

According to Abdelnasser, on the one hand, there is a need for infrastructure, greater technical cooperation, more human resources and the implementation of national development strategies focused on technology and innovation. And on the other hand, these countries need to have a certain stability around them and a greater knowledge of intellectual property.



Miguel Ángel Elizalde

Professor UPF

Walid Abdelnasser

Director of the office for arab countries OMPI



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