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* U.S. Embassy in Colombo celebrates World Intellectual Property Day
Tue, Apr 27, 2010, 07:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 27, Colombo: The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo organized a panel discussion on Intellectual Property Rights on Monday, April 26 in observance of World Intellectual Property Day.

Nearly 100 attorneys, faculty, and students have attended the event. An Embassy press release said that the panelists included some of Sri Lanka's leading experts in this field: Dr. D.M. Karunaratne, Director General, National Intellectual Property Office; Mr. N. Selvakumaran, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo; and Mr. Dinal Philips, President's Counsel. Ms. Soundarie David-Rodrigo, an attorney and a well-known musician, introduced the topic and moderated the lively question-and-answer session.

The theme of the discussion was "Innovation Linking the World."

Mr. Glen Davis, Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy, welcomed the audience and read the following statement from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"April 26 marks the tenth annual World Intellectual Property Day. The United States has celebrated and protected innovation and creativity since George Washington signed the first American patent in 1790. The ideas and inspirations of our citizens fuel our economy, enrich our culture and help us meet global challenges from climate change to poverty, hunger and disease.

Today, because of advances in technology and falling trade barriers, information and ideas circle the globe faster and more freely than ever. But these same trends have also increased intellectual piracy, from illegal file downloads to bootleg recordings to counterfeit products. Theft of intellectual property is a crime that erodes the incentive to create and poses a serious barrier to making legitimate products and services available to the public.

The Obama Administration is committed to fostering innovation at home and protecting intellectual property rights around the world. The President has named an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and at the State Department we have made intellectual property a diplomatic priority. We are working with our trading partners, businesses, and international organizations to protect intellectual property interests while opening markets for new technologies and products.

On the tenth anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day, we salute the scientists, inventors, writers, composers and other creative individuals who contribute so much to our common humanity. Let us work together to protect their innovation, and that of future generations."

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