"Protection of intellectual property rights has a tremendous impact on the development of entrepreneurship," says Ramin Guluzadeh.
11 Jul, 2019

Today, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, and Microsoft hosted a seminar on "Intellectual Property Rights and Cyber Security."

Minister Ramin Guluzadeh and US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger met bilaterally before to the seminar. The role of cyber security in intellectual property rights protection was discussed at the meeting. They discussed strategies for combating intellectual property infringements.

Minister of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies Ramin Guluzadeh opened the event by stating that intellectual property rights and cyber security are inextricably linked. "Using licensed software directly protects intellectual property rights, reduces cyber threats, and improves the level of security of information systems and personal data," he stated.

Ramin Guluzadeh underlined during his address that intellectual property rights protection has a significant impact on the development of business and attracting foreign investments. "The protection of intellectual property rights is one of the major themes of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. Azerbaijan rated 92nd on the “Intellectual Property Protection” sub-index in the 2015 Global Competitiveness Edition, but due to ongoing reforms in this area, it moved to 30th among global countries in the 2019 report with 70.4 points. Our country is top among the CIS countries in this metric, however it falls behind many Central and Eastern European countries.

The Minister stated that the reforms are continuing in accordance with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev's directives, in order to strengthen our country's international rankings, ways of combatting intellectual property infringement, governance, and security, purchase of Microsoft licensed software was implemented for government entities. "In 2018, “Microsoft” agreed to a three-year deal for this purpose. The transaction included the purchase of 20,000 Windows operating systems, 20,000 Microsoft Office licenses, and 100 server licenses. Microsoft licenses for the project will be distributed to 63 government departments with funding from the state budget.

According to him, licenses were provided to 43 government agencies and 9 educational institutions, with three portals built by government agencies, educational institutions, and students to make the process of obtaining licenses easier and faster. Government entities, educational institutions, and students can purchase licenses using a personal account that has been pre-assigned to the appropriate portals.

According to Ramin Guluzadeh, certain licenses for Microsoft products for companies engaged in commercial activities of Azcloud cloud services are issued on a monthly basis under the existing partnership between Microsoft and AzInTelecom Limited Liability Company under the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies.

Finally, the Minister expressed optimism that the work being done in Azerbaijan to expand the use of licensed software will have a good impact on the activities of government agencies and businesses, as well as boost Azerbaijan's standing in worldwide rankings.

During his speech, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger emphasized the necessity of adopting licensed software in enterprises and government agencies to maintain cyber security. "It's a waste of time and money to use unlicensed software." Companies that employ such systems lose a total of 359 billion USD per year, according to the ambassador.

The Chairman of the Board of the Intellectual Property Agency, Kamran Imanov, then spoke about our country's intellectual property issues and the initiatives that need to be implemented.

Cybersecurity is directly tied to national security and interests, according to Mark Pfeifle, an American specialist on cybersecurity and communications policy matters. He considers the usage of unlicensed software to be a national security risk.

Presentations by representatives of local and international enterprises specializing in software and cloud technology continued the program.

Jeyhun Aliyev, Deputy Director of AzInTelecom LLC, discussed the company's collaboration with Microsoft and Oracle. During his speech, he mentioned that, thanks to a Microsoft arrangement, free licenses are being distributed to public and educational institutions. He also mentioned private-sector permits, which are granted on the basis of timely and monthly payments. They discussed their work with "Oracle" and announced intentions during the meeting, highlighting the importance of multilateral cooperation with the firm in the near future.