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A new survey on intellectual property (IP) services provided by chambers of commerce shows that many more chambers around the world are actively involved in this increasingly important area.

Seventeen chambers, including those in the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Jordan, Mozambique and Croatia, replied to the survey for the first time. Numerous other chambers located in countries ranging from Germany to Mongolia updated their information for the new survey.

“Intellectual Property as an intangible asset is one of the most important issues in our modern economies,” said Javier Peña Capobianco, Head of the International Trade Department at the Uruguay National Chamber of Commerce and Services. “It is increasingly becoming central to the competitiveness of companies in many sectors, particularly those that are more intensive in innovation.”

“Chambers of Commerce have all the elements at their disposal to become key players in this area,” Mr Capobianco added. “Embracing IP should be a must for a chamber of commerce that wants to provide a comprehensive and a competitive solution for its members.”

The survey asks chambers to answer questions including the kind of training they offer on IP, whether they provide consultancy services, conduct surveys to gather information, or engage in policy advocacy in the IP field.

“Countries with a high technological base and strong IP infrastructure for the protection of innovation and creation are progressing much faster than others,” the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bangladesh, wrote in answering the survey. “It is well recognized that a huge investment of time and resources into various research initiatives is necessary for innovation and creation.”

The survey is part of the IP Toolkit and pilot training programme jointly developed by ICC’s Commission on Intellectual Property and the World Chambers Federation. Chambers will be able to access an IP resource bank and support materials prepared by ICC’s Commission on Intellectual Property and the ICC BASCAP initiative from the IP Toolkit website. For chambers looking to set up IP programmes, the website lists descriptions of chamber IP programmes across the developed and developing world.

“The replies indicate that more chambers in different parts of the world are becoming involved in IP and are providing their business constituencies with a wide variety of services,” remarked Daphne Yong-d’Herve, ICC Senior Policy Manager for Intellectual Property and Competition. “Chambers focus on different areas depending on their economic priorities, which can range from anti-counterfeiting to patents, geographical indicators or innovation management. Some chambers have made IP a key priority and even set up multi service IP units in their chambers.”

ICC is currently working on a manual to help chambers set up IP programmes. The aim is to develop a practical manual illustrated with examples and good practices from around the world to help chambers establish business support services relating to intellectual property for their local companies.

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