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Minister Han on the preparation of the first national strategy with Director General Tang

Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), is visiting Slovenia. He and Minister Han discussed the preparation of Slovenia's first national intellectual property (IP) strategy. This will help to improve understanding and respect for intellectual property rights and, as a result, improve the environment for innovation and a competitive economy.

At the invitation of the Minister of Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han and the Director of the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Karin Žvokelj, Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is visiting Slovenia from 24 to 26 September 2023.

Slovenia, in cooperation with WIPO, is preparing its first National Intellectual Property Strategy. An analysis of the state of IP in Slovenia is currently being finalised and will form the basis for the formulation of the strategy, namely the strategic objectives and the most appropriate measures to achieve them. The formulation of the national strategy is also linked to the national development objectives set out in the Slovenian Development Strategy 2030, specifically the objective of a Competitive and Socially Responsible Enterprise and Research Sector.

After his meeting with DG Tang, Minister Matjaž Han stressed the importance of innovation and intellectual property: »If we want to increase added value and prosperity for people in Slovenia, we need to change our attitude towards intellectual property. Innovation is and will be increasingly key to raising the added value of the Slovenian economy. Intellectual property rights give value to innovation. An idea alone is not enough. It needs to be brought to life, brought to market, protected and marketed. And it is intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, designs, patents, that offer legal protection against other players on the market. We need to be aware that these are part of the intangible assets of a company and increase the value of our investments and increase competitiveness.« This is why the Ministry, together with the SIPO, wants to strengthen cooperation with WIPO in the field of valuation of intellectual property and thus take into account the value of rights as assets of companies also in insurance.

The Minister expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation in the preparation of the first national strategy to stimulate innovation and creativity in the Slovenian economy. He said that Slovenia and WIPO are linked by joint projects, which pay particular attention to small, medium-sized and start-up companies, sustainable innovation and respect for traditional knowledge. He added that only through innovative solutions and their protection can the competitiveness of the economy be ensured, which is why the Ministry and the SIPO will continue their efforts to bring intellectual property closer to all users.

Daren Tang, Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation: »I was last here as a student in 1996. In that time, Slovenia has made remarkable progress and has become a centre of innovation, technology, science and research. At WIPO, we want to make IP not just an abstract subject for professionals, but a catalyst for development, job creation, attracting foreign investment and growing the economy of this wonderful country. The aim is that those who will register patents and trademarks will do so because it will benefit their development and growth and, above all, to make it easier for them to take their products to market and market them.«

He stressed that intellectual property is not only known in the context of industry, but also has an impact in the cultural, sporting and other spheres of life. He cited the example of the protected Idrija lace or the sports of basketball player Luka Dončić. The latter uses intellectual property in connection with his image, sponsorships, match broadcasts and thus concretely markets these rights of use. Director-General Tang stressed that WIPO would assist Slovenia in the preparation of the strategy and, above all, in its subsequent implementation in practice.

During his visit, Tang will meet with the political leadership and a broader range of IP stakeholders. He will get to know Slovenia as an innovative and sustainability-oriented country. The Director of the SIPO Karin Žvokelj said the visit is an opportunity to deepen the strategic dialogue on intellectual property and to raise awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights and their potential as intangible financial assets. She stressed the importance of a well-functioning and balanced system of IP rights protection to foster innovation and creativity, and thus economic growth and the progress of society as a whole.

WIPO is a specialised agency of the United Nations with 193 member countries, whose mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Several international treaties have been adopted under its auspices. Slovenia has been a member of WIPO since 1992.