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24 February 2010,15:54

"Intellectual property requires various ways of protection"

On February 17, 2006, the Kazan State University rector ordered the establishment of a UNESCO Chair of Intellectual Property department in Tatarstan. The department is a branch of the UNESCO Chair of Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Rights at the Griboedov Institute of International Law and Economics in Moscow.

The head of the Tatarstan department is Roza Sitdikova, a Master of Laws, associate professor at the Kazan University department of civil and business law, attorney at law and intellectual property expert. In an interview with Tatar-inform she spoke about the new department’s core activities.

Q: Ms Sitdikova, what are the tasks the UNESCO chair’s department you head is facing?

A: The department was set up within the UNESCO-run programme Education for All. The progamme’s purposes include advertising knowledge in the field of intellectual property, its protection, reasonable use, raising people’s awareness on these subjects, promoting educational programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate students and others.

Q: The department is known to engage a research group of undergraduate and postgraduate students. What are they doing? We  can probably talk of some accomplishments.

A: The group is involved in researching the most urgent issues related to legal protection of intellectual property, its accounting, transfer, use in commercial activities, et cetera. But this is within the framework of a scientific study. Talking of accomplishments, I think we could place holding workshops on urgent topics with invitees from other higher schools and law enforcement bodies among such. Seminars for art workers (composers, artists) have in collaboration with the Tatarstan Culture Ministry been held. We conduct scientific research at the intersection of various fields. For instance, we are now building cooperation with a postgraduate nanotechnology club. They tell us about related problems and we tell them how to protect the results of their research. Our next meeting is to be with social scientists – we want to examine the sociological survey of the subject, to learn how the society perceives issues of protecting intellectual property. Our core activity is designing curricula for every-speciality students. We conduct research purporting to find how the students themselves take the courses, though based on the preliminary data, the attitude is positive.

Q: Yet another area of the research group's work is consultations for individuals within the Kazan University’s law department’s law clinic. Do many people concerned with protecting copyright and intellectual property come to you?

A: They are much fewer than the others – but about ten people did contact us over the year. Many people have over the past three years turned to me as a lawyer about these issues. It is these cases I mainly practice.

Q: Can you recall any curious incidents from your practice?

A: Each case seems unique to me. For example, it is known to few that responsibility for illicit use of computer programmes exists regardless of the purpose of the individual who does it. Making copies is not allowed, even if you need it personally. It comes to criminal responsibility. Various intellectual property requires various ways of protection. A method needs to be selected and applied wisely. This is what we teach people.

Q: The question is probably relevant for many. Do you have to pay for the law clinic’s service?

A: No, we provide reception charge-free. But the consultants are students, supervised by a professor. Afterwards, we analyse the question, prepare an answer and then give it to the customer.

Q: Who mainly comes to see you?

A: We first thought only pensioners would ask for help, but the circle is very wide. Our professors and students, and certainly older people, come to see us. Many enjoy our consultations. But it is quality that matters to us, not quantity.

Interview by Nina Narykova

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