Office of Grants and Contracts Celebrates World Intellectual Property
|One of the performing bands at Issam Fares
The most unusually delightful and original of the Beirut Street Festival's
mime performances was the one held on Hamra Street on April 29. Three
mimes, completely dressed in white, distributed fliers and bookmarks inviting
people to join in celebrating World Intellectual Property Day. The AUB
program of events, held later that day at Issam Fares Hall, was organized
by the Office of Grants and Contracts in cooperation with the Lebanese
Ministry of Economy and Trade and the National Committee on Intellectual
Property. Attracting almost 200 participants, the program's aim was to
highlight the important role students can play in safeguarding the economy
by being active agents in intellectual property (IP) protection.
The program began with a talk by renowned Lebanese actor Gabriel Yammine,
who stressed that plagiarism in theater scripts can be an extremely painful
experience for playwrights. Lawyer Roger Tanios then explained the technical
distinctions between the different IP terms, like copyrights, neighboring
rights, trademarks, patents, and industrial designs. Ibrahim Lahoud of
the Adobe Software Company followed with a lecture about the severe piracy
problem in Lebanon and the Middle East, saying that widespread piracy
in Lebanon has led to its being blacklisted by the international community.
Joelle Maalouf then spoke about her family's successful efforts in protecting
their trademark after developing the Casper and Gambini franchises, which
use a menu derived from her mother's own recipes. Other IP lectures and
success stories were given by Mohammad Hamzeh, Jamal Krayem, Ali Harakeh,
Sadek Sabbah, Kawkab Sinno, Raymond Andary, Fouad Ayyub, and Nabeel Gholam,
as well as by Homeidan and Feghali from the Bicharaf Organization for
Companies participating in the event included Microsoft, Adobe, Orbit,
Rotana, Sader Publishers, and the Sabbah Media Corporation. Tens of fliers,
brochures, and posters about the brain drain caused by deficient IP protection
and the legal and economic consequences of software and industrial design
piracy were exhibited and distributed outside the conference hall.
Overall, the atmosphere of the event was highly interactive and motivational.
The hope was to instigate a change in mentality among young people regarding
IP protection by stressing that no enterprise can flourish if its ideas
and products are constantly being pirated. The event concluded with an
uplifting and entertaining IP festival, featuring new Lebanese and regional
singers, among them Melhem Zein, Ranine Chaar, and Moustapha Choueikh
from the Super Star program. The festival highlight was an Arabic rap
song, specifically composed by Mounir Khawli for the event, entitled Haydee
Hiyyi El Milkiyyi El Fikriyyi (This Is Intellectual Property), which was
performed by Khawli himself.