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Art and design students learn about IP protection |29 July 2021

Art and design students learn about IP protection

PS Mangroo delivering her speech (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

Sixteen third-year students following diploma courses at the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design at Anse Royale are taking part in a two-day virtual training during which they are learning about the different types of intellectual property protection they can use to protect their work.

The training is an initiative of the United States Embassy for Seychelles and the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD) and it was launched with the support of the University of Seychelles yesterday morning in the presence of the US Embassy’s acting deputy chief of mission, Thomas Kohl, principal secretary for trade Cilia Mangroo, director of (SIAD) Christine Chetty-Payet, the students themselves, and Dr Nora Ho Tu Nam, leader of the training who joined the launch virtually.

“Intellectual property rights are a cornerstone of modern business. Without effective protections for intellectual property, there is nothing to stop bad actors from stealing designs, inventions, software, or trade secrets,” said Mr Kohl.

He further added that theft of intellectual property or even the threat of the possibility can have a chilling effect on creative artists and can sadly deter people from developing new products or solutions.

“Almost every art and design business has intellectual property that needs to be protected. It could be original artwork, a business name, a logo, or a unique printing process. Unfortunately, intellectual property laws can seem so complex that some creators do not know what can be protected or how. Artists and creative entrepreneurs like you should be empowered with the knowledge of how to protect your intellectual property assets to eliminate the risk of having your unique ideas, products, or services infringed upon,” he added.

Moreover, he continued by saying that there is a fine line between being inspired by someone’s work and infringing on someone else’s intellectual property rights through plagiarism. It is therefore very important for you to understand the different types of intellectual property that exist.

“This is why the US embassy is proud to partner with the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design for this training. During this two-day training, you will learn about three types of intellectual property rights: copyrights, designs, and trademarks,”he added.

Mr Kohl concluded by telling the students that the importance of innovation and creativity has never been more important than it is right now, as Seychelles begins building back better in a post-Covid-19 world.

“With the innovation and creativity that will be necessary to achieve our future goals, the need to protect intellectual property rights becomes ever more essential to leveling the playing field and ensuring that artists and innovators are being properly recognised for theunique contributions they are making to the world.”

For her part, PS Mangroo said it is a great pleasurebecause such activities organised toeducate students in intellectual property rights, will help the government greatly in its efforts to bringintellectual property to the forefront.

“This virtual training is part of a series of activities undertaken this year by the government and our different partners in order to increase intellectual propertyawareness in Seychelles. Earlier this year a workshop on intellectual property for businesses in Seychelles was conducted in collaboration with the United States governmentand we also had a training on patents registration and soon we shall be conducting a workshop for media houses,” confirmed Ms Mangroo.

Additionally,she notedthat targeting visual arts students is another step in ensuring that specific training is provided to different sectors of our society so that future artistsare aware of their intellectual property rights and obligations and the different ways of protectingtheir creativity and innovations.

“Intellectual property is a means of fuelling economic development and with the ever-changing business environment, this is vital to ensure business profitability and continuity.

Thus, I urge you all to make use of this session productively, so that you will be able toapply what you will learn in your future endeavours,” said PS Mangroo.

She thanked the government of the United States of Americafor its continued efforts in the promotion of intellectual property in Seychelles.

Speaking to the press following the launch ceremony, director of SIAD, Christine Chetty-Payet saidthe mandate of the institution is to prepare students to get into the creative industry and so it is important that they know how to protect their creations and respect the creations of others and not steal them.

“Plagiarism is a big part in the creative industry. We have a unit in our curriculum that addresses copyright laws and it is a challenge for us to get someone to teach this unit, so when we were offered the opportunity for this training we decided to take it as it will be a good start for the students as well as build a relationship with the trades department,” said Mrs Chetty-Payet.

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