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IP Forum: Ecology and Intellectual Property Law

On the main topics of the past meeting
04.05.2021
IP Forum: Ecology and Intellectual Property Law

The Moscow State Law University hosts the International IP Forum annually. That event is dedicated to the legal protection of intellectual property. This time, the forum paid special attention to environmental issues. Ludmila Novoselova, President of the Intellectual Property Court and one of the co-organisers of the IP Forum, told more about the event.

Новоселова_0T.jpg Ludmila Novoselova
President of the Intellectual Property Court, PhD in Law, Professor

Ludmila Novoselova notes that the IP Forum traditionally attracts the attention of not only the scientific community but also those who directly implement the norms of civil and other legislation in the field of intellectual property. Establishing such communication is extremely important including that for the sake of solving global economy- and ecology-related problems. Many of the topics that are actively discussed in the scientific community are often overlooked at the legislative level. In this regard, the IP Forum contributes to filling the existing gaps.

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– Why are the issues of intellectual property and its protection especially relevant in today’s world? What are the key trends in the field of intellectual property rights today?

– In today’s information society, non-material objects of value, which also include the results of intellectual activity, began to come to the fore. New areas of economic and social relations based on the digital economy, technology transfer, and innovative achievements of the 21st century began to develop rapidly.

We can already say that digital technologies are firmly rooted in all kinds of social relations. They include not only relations among individuals within a single state but also those at the global level.

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In today’s world, almost all borders ceased to exist in terms of the exchange of knowledge and achievements in science and culture.

The expansion of opportunities of the digital world has led to the fact that a number of results of people’s intellectual activity have started being accumulated in the digital space. Thanks to the public accessibility and technical capabilities of modern gadgets, anyone can not only become an author but also make their work available to a large audience easily today.

In today’s world, people have a lot of opportunities for creativity. However, that also led to the need for a balanced review. The revision of the existing principles and rules of regulations on the results of intellectual activity is necessary today. That’s why the formation of an effective mechanism promoting the creation and distribution of knowledge and innovation in addition to the formation of a favourable institutional environment for the development of creativity has become one of the main priorities in the scientific, technical, and cultural policy of the modern state.

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– Ecology and Intellectual Property was among the announced topics of the forum. How are these two concepts connected?

– In the pursuit of humanity’s technological development, it is important to remember the fragility and value of the ecological balance. That is why we can say that protection of achievements in the field of the so-called ‘green’ technologies is vital in terms of both intellectual property law and the global significance of such inventions.

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Today, many countries pay special attention to ‘green’ inventions that can replace environmentally unsafe technologies. Those technical solutions and devices are aimed at maintaining peace and protecting the environment.

As opposed to existing fears, ‘green’ technologies used properly cannot slow down the economy and the overall technological development of the country. On the contrary, they have a positive impact on these areas. China’s experience is a bright example of that. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), this country has been the leader in terms of the registration of eco-friendly patents for several years. Since 2012, China has provided a special accelerated registration procedure for ‘green’ patents. That emphasizes the particular social importance of eco-friendly inventions and makes it possible to form the most favourable conditions for their rapid practical implementation.

Now the green technology market is not only the embodiment of the real efforts of thousands of enthusiasts, eco-activists, scientists, and inventors wishing to make the planet better and cleaner. It is also an extremely important segment of today’s economy with annual sales reaching $1 trillion.

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Today, investing in ‘green’ technology is not charity but an economically feasible project.

Russia is a country with a unique nature. Its territory includes almost all existing climate zones. Unfortunately, many endemic species of animals and plants are already under threat of extinction because of the global climate change problem. To preserve the unique diversity of animate and inanimate nature, we must take comprehensive measures and combine the efforts of government, science, business, and industry.

It is pleasant to see that large companies focused on mining and processing of natural resources do not ignore the issues of respect for the environment. For example, back in 1995, Gazprom was the first Russian oil and gas company, which purposefully created environmental projects. The organisation approved a special document formulating its environmental policy.

In 2019, the Gazprom corporation’s spending on environmental protection exceeded 53 billion rubles.

We live in a world, in which it is not enough to simply ‘cure’ nature’s injuries caused by humanity over the millennia of its existence. It is equally important to prevent new negative impacts. How can we do that? Probably, by preferring ‘green’ technologies. To increase the number of these inventions, we must first prepare a strong and thoroughly designed legal framework.

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– The forum takes place every year. What made it unique this year? 

– We try to find a common topic for the key events of the forum every year. Thanks to certain specifics, we take our forum beyond classical legal conferences. We always use interesting, unusual, and interactive formats. For example, in different years, the IP Forum hosted fashion shows, theatrical performances, and even a friendly soccer match.

This year, the forum was unusual because it was held in a mixed format. Unfortunately, well-known circumstances prevented us from welcoming guests and participants of the event at the Moscow State Law University. However, the use of digital systems was a very interesting and useful experience for us. Moreover, we managed to expand the geography of the participants thanks to modern technologies.

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– We live in a complex and rapidly changing world. Some laws and regulations become outdated very quickly or require clarification. What are the controversial issues in the field of intellectual property law today? Which of them would you like to discuss at future forums?

– Indeed, the modern world is changing very fast and so are the current issues. Intellectual property law is no exception. At the moment, the most acute issues are related to the digitalisation of intellectual activity results, development of the artificial intelligence, and the creation of intellectual property objects. People also actively discuss topics related to genomic research including the opportunities and limits of patenting in this area.

Every year, when developing the programme of our forum, we try to focus not only on the field of intellectual property law in its pure form but also on global processes taking place in Russia and worldwide. That is why the key topics of future forums will somehow remain interdisciplinary. Thus, the forthcoming forums will touch upon the most pressing problems of intellectual property in its connection with other social issues.

Victoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov


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