Embassies in Action
Economic officers at over 200 posts worldwide work to promote respect for intellectual property rights. Check out highlights from some particularly exciting programs below.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy New Delhi
In celebration of World IP Day on April 26, 2015, Ambassador Verma released an op-ed on IPR in a major business daily. In addition, Embassy New Delhi, in partnership with the Motion Picture Association India, screened U.S. blockbusters “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Margarita with a Straw,” and "Focus" on April 24 and 25, 2015. The film screenings were preceded by remarks by Public Affairs and Economic officers speaking on the importance of IP rights, highlighting U.S.-India joint efforts for protecting IPR. More than 430 participants, mostly youth, attended the screenings. Consulate General Chennai’s Public Affairs team sponsored an “IPR Fiesta” at the Vellore Institute of Technology. The event, which included panelists from the U.S. and India, highlighted IP synergy from U.S. and Indian perspectives, through panels that discussed issues such as piracy of copyrighted materials, patents, TRIPS, and pharmaceuticals. The event also included workshops demonstrating e-filing of patents and other patenting strategies as well as youth outreach.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy Islamabad
In Pakistan it is virtually impossible to buy non-pirated music or movies, so widespread social media reaction to and engagement with U.S. Embassy Islamabad’s intellectual property (IP) campaign was both surprising and encouraging. The Embassy Public Affairs Section launched a week-long Facebook and Twitter campaign in April 2016 to raise awareness around World Intellectual Property Day, reaching a combined audience of over 200,000 Pakistanis. Themes included the dangers of counterfeit goods and pharmaceuticals, how to spot fakes, and the negative impact of purchasing fake goods. The predominantly young audience (53% of U.S. Embassy Islamabad’s 3 million Facebook followers are ages 18-24) shared our posts and responded with unanticipated positive support for this largely ignored aspect of intellectual property rights.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy Beijing
In conjunction with World IP Day, on May 5, 2015 Ambassador Baucus convened a daylong IPR Roundtable around the theme “Copyright in a Global Digital Community.” The event directly involved more than 150 key government officials, local experts, and industry representatives.
This event coincided with China’s ongoing review of its Copyright Law, which panelists anticipated could lead to new business opportunities in copyright-intensive industries. The Roundtable’s opening session featured a speech by Ambassador Baucus on the trend towards greater bilateral cooperation on IPR. Remarks by U.S. Embassy Beijing’s IPR Attaché focused on the role of copyright in promoting creativity and innovation, as well as the need for adequate protection and enforcement of IPR. News of the event reached hundreds of thousands on television, in print, and online through the more than 25 Chinese and Western media outlets that covered the event, including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, People’s Daily, and Phoenix TV.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy Tallinn
On World Intellectual Property Day 2016, AmCham Estonia, in cooperation with U.S. Embassy Tallinn and the Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Center, hosted an IPR awareness raising event entitled “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.” Over 100 AmCham members and invited guests, including Estonia’s IPR policy makers and implementers, students, and media representatives, gathered at Forum Cinemas to gain a deeper insight on Estonia’s IPR issues. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the winner of the annual IPR public service announcement (PSA) competition, funded by State’s Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. Twenty students from Tallinn University produced clips promoting respect for intellectual property rights in cooperation with U.S. Embassy Tallinn and the Estonian Organization for Copyright Protection.
SPOTLIGHT – Consulate General Durban
In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, U.S. Consulate General Durban hosted a workshop for 80 business leaders in KwaZulu-Natal on November 18, 2015 to promote best practices in IPR protection. With support from IPE’s Public Diplomacy Outreach Program, the half-day workshop brought together leading South African intellectual property rights attorneys, local companies, the U.S. Consul General, and a representative of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center). Discussion focused on how private enterprise, lawyers, and law enforcement can collaborate to combat the influx of counterfeit goods. The event reinforced the U.S. commitment to promoting economic growth in South Africa while raising awareness about the important issue of trade in counterfeit goods in the home of Sub-Saharan Africa’s busiest port.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy Bucharest
U.S. Embassy Bucharest’s 2015 awareness campaign “Reward Your Idol II” targeted music listeners in Romania, encouraging use of authorized streaming services for music. The campaign included a music playlist contest and celebrity musician testimonials, and was promoted on Facebook, metro station posters, ProFM, Cosmopolitan, and Apropo TV. It is likely that more than one million people came into contact with the message that it is important to respect creators’ intellectual property rights, particularly those related to the music industry in Romania.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy Jakarta
In 2014, U.S. Embassy Jakarta and the Indonesian Anti-Counterfeiting Society (MIAP) conducted a “Safe Medicines and Cosmetics” public service announcement (PSA) contest and safe medicines workshop series with support from the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) public diplomacy outreach program and the regional IP attaché in Bangkok. The contest challenged young Indonesians aged 18 to 25 to create short video messages about the dangers of counterfeit medicines and provided workshop trainings at local universities in Java and Sumatra to help equip participants with the skills to create effective PSAs. The four-month program received considerable press, amplifying the public awareness messages. This public outreach effort ensured a steady stream of media reports about the dangers of counterfeit medicines reached a broad Indonesian audience.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy Beijing
U.S Embassy Beijing hosted a 2014 World IP Day event centered on the theme “Movies: A Global Passion.” The event was coordinated with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to incorporate IPR programming into the annual MPAA–Beijing Film Market (BFM) Film Workshop Closing Ceremony held during the Beijing International Film Festival on April 19, just before World IP Day. During the event, attended by over 150 film and creative industry leaders and local students, the Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission delivered remarks focused on the importance of IPR to the film industry, thanked local supporters for their efforts to advance copyright protection in China, and encouraged further progress in this area. The event was headlined by MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd, whom the DCM joined in recognizing local IPR champions, and concluded with the launching of a “Student IPR Citizen Ambassador Program,” followed by a movie screening.
SPOTLIGHT – Embassy New Delhi
In celebration of World IP Day on April 26, 2014, U.S. Embassy New Delhi, in collaboration with Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) and USPTO screened “Rio 2,” “Noah,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The film screenings were preceded by remarks by USPTO and FCS offices on the importance of IP rights, highlighting U.S.-India joint efforts for protecting IPR. More than 150 participants attended the screenings. Consulate General Mumbai also ran an online slogan contest on IP / anti-piracy on the Consulate’s social media sites. The slogan contest raised IP awareness among post's social media contacts and encouraged them to fight piracy in the entertainment industry. The contest's prompt line "I can fight piracy by ......" generated focused responses and online discussion on the widespread copyright violations in the Indian entertainment industry and the ways in which that can be controlled. The activity led to anti-piracy activism among participants, including youth who are generally the end users of pirated products.