On April 29 AmCham members and guests met at the annual IPR Breakfast Meeting and Round-Table discussion with the policy-makers and stakeholders in Lounge24 at the Radisson Blu Sky Hotel. The panel was moderated by Aleksei Kelli of Tartu University, who focused the event around two topics: trademark issues and enforcement of violations.
The following panelists were included in the event:
1. Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu
2. Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur
3. Head of ICT Policy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Aet Rahe
4.Creator of the famous Tangerines film Ivo Felt
5. Pawan Kumar Dutt from TTU
6. Martynas Bieliunas, Microsoft Baltics
Guests were welcomed with an introduction from the U.S. Ambassador Jeff Levine. The Ambassador touched on how protecting IP rights is essential to the success of an innovative ecosystem.
Minister Reinsalu discussed the challenges the government faces with IPR, including the problem of over-regulating, as well as improving the security of investing into the Estonian business climate. The minister agreed that the steps that need to be taken from the government standpoint are to enforce IPR laws and to educate the general public more about intellectual property rights.
Minister Pevkur, agreeing with Minister Reinstalu, pointed out that the key issue with IP is to look at what the government can realistically do and how they can go about implementing that plan. He mentioned that since 2011, the level of crimes against IPR has been decreasing, and to continue this, there needs to be two-way traffic between the police, who enforce responses to violations, and the applicants, who prove violation of their intellectual property.
Aet Rahe, Head of ICT Policy at MKM, stated that people tend to over-regulate IPR violations with the argument being cyber security needs. She also mentioned how it is hard to implement programs that support both the government and the private sector when it comes to protecting intellectual property rights.
Ivo Felt, Creator of the Tangerines film, brought up an interesting point for guests to ponder: if you want it (your movie, music, service, etc.) out there, you have to realize the risk that comes with it, such as piracy violations.
Martynas Bieliunas of Microsoft described his belief in a balanced approach being the most successful. This would include not over-punishing violators, while also increasing the knowledge of the public regarding intellectual property rights.
Pawan Kumar Dutt from TTU discussed how consumer interests have changed and continue to change, which means the market has to evolve with that. A good example of this is e-governance in Estonia. Also, he said, that the focus monetary support should move to encryption, since it is difficult to break.
Multiple panelists mentioned the new penal code reform to decriminalize certain offenses in relation to intellectual property. The panelists also discussed larger companies and brands, such as Sony and Netflix, allowing accessibility to consume their service in Estonia and the effects that would have on IPR violations.
We would like to thank all of our panelists, the moderator and the U.S. Ambassador, for taking the time our of their busy schedules and participating in this captivating IPR event. Also, a huge thank you to Radisson Blu Sky Hotel for letting us host the event at Lounge 24! We look forward to continuing this event in the future with more insightful discussion and interesting topics.