IGF 2018 WS #397 Empowering Innovators in Developing Economies

Organizer 1: Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Nicole Foga, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Carla Barboto, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Andrea Gerosa, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Fatima Amehri, Civil Society, African Group

Do trademark.domain and brand protection enable or hinder economic growth in the digital landscape? The issue of the role of intellectual property rights within the internet governance structure are a source of ongoing debate. Some view trademarks and domain protection as growth inhibitors while others view them as the building blocks for sustainable business. Led by a leading telecommunications and branding legal expert from Jamaica, this round table discusses the role of trademark protection and domain names in protecting emerging businesses. Female entrepreneurs will discuss their emerging businesses in Latin America and North Africa and the challenges and benefits of using digital resources to help sustain local businesses. In addition to the entrepreneurs, a leading youth educator and advocate will discuss the impact of ICT's and branding on the opportunities for young entrepreneurs. This round table builds on the 2016 IGF Lightening Session, "Trademarks Enable Sustainable Growth." http://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/index.php?q=filedepot_download/4...

Format: 

Round Table - 60 Min

Interventions: 

Speakers will share their stories and challenges in a conversational manner. The moderator will ensure that no individual speaker will dominate the conversation as all have points of view that are important for sharing. The session will start off with each speaker describing their business and how they manage their online as well as offline presence. The moderator will then pose a series of questions based on the content description above. The conversation between the speakers will last 30 minutes. The remaining 30 minutes will be left for questions and online interventions. Back up questions will be provided by the moderator in the event that audience participation requires some prompting. The idea is to learn from each other even if there are no definitive answers for more complex questions surrounding how to strike a balance between costs, growth and the balancing of rights on the internet.

Diversity: 

The panel represents diversity in gender (male and female panelists), geography (Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean), stakeholder groups (private sector, civil society), and interjects the point of view of a well known youth advocate. Speakers come from Jamaica, Ecuador, Morocco and Italy.

As never before in history, entrepreneurs and small business that need to break out of local economic circumstances have an opportunity to create a business or other endeavor, to empower it, promote it and make it sustainable with the help and support that ICT brings to them. But, of course, to grow and be successful over time, a business needs more than internet access: it needs internet presence. A key element of a unique online presence is offered by combining a website based on a ''good'' domain name matching a trademark that offers information about source, ownership and quality of goods and services. Combining domain names and trademarks provides the means for broad outreach to the global economy. A recent impact study conducted by the International Trademark Association (INTA) demonstrates that trademark intensive economies grow faster, promote employment and offer a path to sustainability. See http://www.inta.org/Communications/Documents/Latin_America_Impact_Study_.... Trademarks, in particular, help protect a business from unfair competition and related violations and also have the potential to become an important asset of the business with a real and sometimes substantial value. These assets become the basis for sustainability by enabling the business to license its products or services and to expand into complementing streams of commerce. This benefits the proprietor, the consumer and the community-at-large. A successful business and Brand can reflect positively on the country of origin and its economy and employment prospects. Trademarks are what connects the business to its customers and to its country. Famous Brands immediately identify a country. If we look at marks like Sony, Ford, Lego, and Heineken, most of these businesses started with a small unknown trademark and an individual entrepreneur. Their trademarks have become famous and intertwined with the business, its products and brand presence and a source of national pride in the countries of origin.

Specific Issues addressed are:
- The opportunity that ICT provides to entrepreneurs and small businesses to create sustainable and inclusive businesses with the capacity to internationalize their businesses easily
- The interplay between Trademarks and the Internet, and leveraging costs and benefits for businesses, consumers and society as-a-whole in protecting their intangible goods and thus, help grow their businesses while developing their economies.
- Entrepreneurs will share their stories: the good, the bad and the ugly surrounding managing an online presence while building a sustainable business
_ What role do youth play in the internet economy and as internet citizens?

Format: The session will be organized and presented as a moderated conversation between 3 entrepreneurs who will share their experience and success in building a business based on a trademark, domain name and skillful use of ICTs in creating a sustainable and inclusive enterprise, with high impact on communities, offering job opportunities to many and a valuable service to consumers. The issues covered will include the importance of having a trustworthy and protected name and brand right from the start of the business in order to help create a marketable, protectable, attractive business face for the goods and services offered to their consumers, and at the same time, to cope with copycats and infringers, counterfeiters and cybersquatting, all of which affect both businesses and consumers and impacts their ecosystem. Challenges to be discussed are how to: manage costs, disseminate the knowledge of available protections to entrepreneurs who may not be aware how domain names and trademarks interrelate and seeking qualified, respond to others who may accuse the entrepreneur of infringement and find affordable help in navigating complex internet governance and legal issues especially in domain space. The moderator is an experienced intellectual property attorney with extensive experience in counseling small and emerging businesses and ICT law.

Proposed Moderator and Speakers are:
Nicole Foga, Foga Daley, Jamaica - experience telecommunications and intellectual property attorney
Fatima Amheri, Association Marocaine de l'Indication Géographique de l'Huile d'Argane (AMIGHA) (Morocco)
Carla Barboti, Pacari Chocolate, Ecuador
Andrea Gerosa, Think Young, Geneva and Hong Kong - youth researcher and advocate

Discussion Facilitation: 

As described above, it will be the responsibility of the Onsite Moderator to facilitate between the round table, the online queue and observers in the room. This will be accomplished with a roving microphone so that the moderator can move between the computer screen, the round table and the audience. Optimally, the 4 at the table will have an internal, 30 minute discussion, followed by questions and comments from online and in the room, with speakers volunteering to answer questions thus expanding the table, so to speak. If no volunteers, then the moderator will ask a specific speaker to respond.

Online Participation: 

Online participants will be monitored and a queue formed for questions and interventions. The Onsite Moderator will coordinate with the Online Moderator to ensure that all questions and comments are routed to the round table. Written questions and interventions will be read out loud if the system does not provide clear audio in the room.