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YEREVAN. – The U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Richard M. Mills, Jr., visited the Microsoft Innovation Center to highlight World Intellectual Property Day, a day celebrated annually to mark the founding of the World Intellectual Property Organization, otherwise known as WIPO, in 1970. In addition to touring the center and the Armenian National Engineering Lab (ANEL), the Ambassador spoke with a group of IT startups and students and delivered remarks.

In his remarks, Ambassador Mills highlighted the importance of public/private partnerships such as the one between Microsoft, USAID and the Government of Armenia.

“In addition to contributing greatly to developing innovative solutions and technologies, Microsoft in Armenia also contributes to the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). These types of partnerships unite all the stakeholders and act as an effective platform for addressing such challenges as protection of intellectual property rights, in addition to designing and implementing common IPR strategies that will be beneficial for all the parties involved,” he stated.

While annual monitoring by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) shows that the piracy rate in Armenia has been slowly decreasing, it remains very high – 86% as of 2013. An increased commitment to the protection of IPR across all sectors - the government, businesses and private consumers – is essential to enable Armenian entrepreneurs to better capitalize on the potential of their intellectual property, and thus help grow Armenia’s economy.

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