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Participants in the virtual conference on "The Intellectual Property Metamorphosis in the Age of Digital Transition"

11 Feb · 19h00

© Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

The motto, remember the past, act in the present and reflect on the challenges of the future, was at the basis of this high level conference organised by the Ministry of Justice and by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


With four panels and numerous participants, the aim of the encounter was to debate the topics directly related to industrial property.

1st PANEL | Innovation in public and private sectors in the age of digital transformation

The first panel discussed innovation in public and private sectors in the age of digital transformation. The opening speaker, Daniel Traça, Dean of the Nova School of Business and Economics, spoke of an interconnected world without barriers, but also of the difficulties faced in the protection of intellectual property (IP).


Maintaining that Europe is the leader in world sustainability, Daniel Traça believes a strong ecosystem of universities, businesses and governments should be built on this leadership position, which will bring about a new revolution in intellectual property related to the challenges of sustainability.


After the talk given by Carolina Castaldi, from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), on “Intellectual property rights and European competitiveness”, Daniel Traça moderated a debate on “The role of IP in the development of innovation and its place in the economy”. The guest speakers were Rita Cucchiara, from Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy), Luís Caldas de Oliveira, from Instituto Superior Técnico, and Ricardo Paes Mamede, from Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa.

2nd PANEL | Counterfeiting in the digital age

Counterfeiting in the digital age was the theme of the second panel in this conference. At the outset, the moderator, Paul Maier, from the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, warned of the need for a speedy response to counterfeiting, which brings with it social and public health problems, making it a challenge to the rule of law.


Alberto Ribeiro de Almeida, from the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto, underlined the importance of geographical indications and designations of origin in the fight against counterfeiting, but also in adding value to producers, products and the regions themselves. Along the same lines, Luís Silveira Botelho, from the Inspectorate-General for Cultural Activities, highlighted the challenges of the digital age, where it is imperative to defend copyright and digital rights, particularly at uncertain times such as this, when culture is a unifying element in communities.


At the round table, with José Luís Lopes da Mota, Advisor to the Ministry of Justice, Jorge Bento da Silva, from the European Commission, Burkhard Mühl, from Europol, and László Venczl, from Eurojust, there was unanimous agreement on the need for more cooperation between the Member States and European institutions in the fight against organised crime.

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Eurico Brilhante Dias, Secretary of State for Internationalization © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

3rd PANEL | The challenge faced by global markets in the promotion and protection of IP and innovation

The theme of the third panel was “The challenge faced by global markets in the promotion and protection of IP and innovation”.


In his opening speech, the Secretary of State for Internationalisation, Eurico Brilhante Dias, stated that the protection of intellectual property is an incentive for inventors and designers, as the revenue generated by protected inventions makes it possible to fund more research and boost technological development.


Underlining the need to protect trademarks and patents during the internationalisation process, Eurico Brilhante Dias also stated that the EU is in a unique position for defining international standards in the IP area, by negotiating free trade agreements, which must always be governed by their own rules, principles and values.


The third panel also featured a talk by Amaryllis Verhoeven, from the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (European Commission), on the “Commission's Action Plan for Intellectual Property”.


Finally, the round table on “The business metamorphosis and research in the digital transformation age” was moderated by Gonçalo Caseiro, from Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda (Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office). The participants included Daniela Braga, from DefinedCrowd, Paula Panarra, from Microsoft Portugal, and Ulf Håkanson, from the Iberian Nanotechnology Institute.

4th PANEL | The cycle of metamorphosis – going back to the beginning...

“How to invent a more sustainable world” was the title of the talk given by scientist Elvira Fortunato, from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, at the opening of the fourth panel in this conference.


On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Portuguese scientist showed a video of the metamorphosis of the blue morpho butterfly. Speaking about her work, with a team of other researchers, Elvira Fortunato also warned that Europe and the world need more scientists.


The fourth panel concluded with a session of talks on the “Future vision of organisations in terms of intellectual property”.


Representing the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Ulrike Till spoke of “The importance of artificial intelligence in the future of the organisation”. He was followed by João Negrão, from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), with a presentation entitled “EUIPN: 10 years improving the IP panorama for the good of its users – future vision”.


“On the road to a European patent system with global impact” was the title of the presentation by Telmo Vilela, from the European Patent Office (EPO), followed by José António Gil Celedonio, from Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas (OEPM), with “The invention of medical devices: what lies ahead?”. The last talk was by Ana Bandeira, from the INPI, who spoke about “The challenges facing the INPI for 2021-2023”.