A workshop was held today on the topic of “Intellectual Property Rights and Cybersecurity”. The event was organized by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, the US Embassy in Azerbaijan and company Microsoft.
The workshop was preceded by a bilateral meeting between Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade and the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger. The meeting discussed the role of cybersecurity in protecting intellectual property rights. The sides exchanged views on ways to combat violations of the law in the field of intellectual property.
Opening the event with an introductory speech, Minister Ramin Guluzade noted that issues of intellectual property rights and cybersecurity are closely related to each other. “Using licensed software directly serves to protect intellectual property rights, reduce cyber risks and increase the level of protection of information systems and personal data,” the Minister said.
Ramin Guluzade emphasized that the protection of intellectual property rights has a great impact on the development of entrepreneurship in the country and attraction of foreign investment. “One of the important areas of the report on the global competitiveness of the World Economic Forum is the protection of intellectual property rights. Azerbaijan took 92nd place in the report on global competitiveness for 2015 in the sub-index “Protection of Intellectual Property”, but as a result of ongoing reforms in this area, in the report for 2019, the country with 70.4 points rose to 30th place among world countries. With this indicator, Azerbaijan ranks first among the CIS countries, ahead of many countries of Central and Eastern Europe,” said Ramin Guluzade.
The Minister also emphasized that as a continuation of the reforms, on the instructions of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, in order to improve the country’s position in international ratings, improve ways to combat violations in the field of intellectual property, as well as management and security, Microsoft licensed software was purchased for government agencies: “To this end, a three-year agreement was signed with Microsoft in 2018. Under the agreement, 20,000 Windows operating systems, licenses for 20,000 Microsoft Office application packages, and 100 server licenses were acquired. According to the project, it is planned to transfer Microsoft licenses to 63 state-financed organizations.”
Speaking about the allocation of licenses to 43 government bodies and 9 educational institutions, the minister said that three portals have been created for convenient and quick obtaining of licenses by government agencies, educational institutions and students. Government bodies, educational institutions and students can obtain their licenses on the said portals through their pre-allocated accounts.
Ramin Guluzade also noted that on the basis of existing partnerships between Microsoft and AzInTelecom LLC under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, certain licenses of Microsoft products are leased on a monthly basis to companies engaged in commercial activities in the field of cloud services AzCloud.
In conclusion, the Minister expressed confidence that the work on expanding the use of licensed software in the country will have a positive impact on the activities of state bodies and companies, as well as strengthen the position of Azerbaijan in international ratings.
In turn, the US ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger emphasized the importance of using licensed software to ensure cybersecurity in business entities and government agencies. “The use of unlicensed software can lead to both loss of time and financial losses. Companies worldwide who use such software have a total loss of $ 359 billion annually,” the Ambassador said.
Then Chairman of the board of the Intellectual Property Agency Kamran Imanov spoke about the problems and steps that need to be taken in our country in the field of intellectual property. Mark Pfeifle, the U.S. expert in cyber security, communications and policy implementation, said that cybersecurity is directly related to state security and interests. According to him, the use of unlicensed software is a threat to national security.
The event continued with presentations by representatives of local and international companies specializing in software and cloud technologies.