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Cablegate: Estonia: Embassy Roundtable Promotes Ipr In

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RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTL #0079 0581020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271020Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0518
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TALLINN 000079

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS USTR
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD KIPR EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA: EMBASSY ROUNDTABLE PROMOTES IPR IN
NATIONAL CURRICULUM

1. (U) SUMMARY: On February 6, the Embassy hosted a
groundbreaking roundtable bringing together government,
NGOs and academia on "How to Raise IPR Awareness in
Schools." The roundtable was organized in cooperation
with the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and
demonstrated the AMCHAM's increased interest in
lobbying the government of Estonia (GOE) for stronger
IPR protection and education. The discussion focused
on threats to Estonia's competitiveness if it does not
make IPR a priority at the grass roots level. The
event resulted in concrete proposals for incorporating
IPR in the national educational curriculum and getting
IPR educational materials to students. Post's role in
this event furthered one of the Department's and our
core MSP goals of Promoting Economic Growth and
Prosperity. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) AMCHAM Estonia's IPR Committee includes
representatives from the business sector, the Embassy
and a number of NGOs in the copyright and trademark
protection field. The committee invited key
stakeholders, including the Deputy Under Secretary of
the Ministry of Education and Research; the head of the
Ministry of Culture's IPR Division; Advisors from
Estonia's "Tiger Leap" Foundation (a national program
to improve education by utilizing modern IT and
communication); the Program Director of the E-
governance Academy; and a teacher from one of the most
high-tech schools in Tallinn to participate. A Member
of Parliament moderated the two-hour discussion.

3. (U) In her opening remarks, the Charge d'Affaires
stressed the role of IPR as a key component of an
innovative and competitive economy. She also
emphasized the importance of international cooperation
in this field. Moderator and Reform Party MP Hannes
Astok discussed the current state of IPR education in
the schools, IPR awareness among teachers and students
and the availability of teaching materials related to
IPR in Estonia. The discussion indicated that overall
IPR awareness in schools is low. The subject is not
included in the national curriculum, and there are no
standardized teaching materials available. While
Estonian schools do verify IT licensing compliance,
they do not have internal policies on copyright and
other IP issues.

4. (U) Participants agreed that promoting understanding
of IPR is critical for Estonia's efforts to shift to a
knowledge-based economy and to strengthen its
competitive position in Europe. While teachers do not
feel that special IPR classes would be effective, the
Deputy Under Secretary of Education proposed including
IPR in the national curriculum as a cross-disciplinary
item. Each class having any relation to trademarks,
patents or copyrights would cover relevant aspects of
IPR. All participants agreed that cooperation between
the public and private sectors is crucial to
effectively introducing IPR to the Estonian school
system. The AMCHAM Committee volunteered to develop an
IPR toolkit for teachers that the Ministry of Education
can pre-load on 6,000 laptops they plan to distribute
to teachers nationwide later this year.

5. (U) Comment. This roundtable was a significant
step in AMCHAM's growing activism on the IPR issue, and
the first in a series of activities they plan to do
over the next few months. It was very successful not
only in bringing together key decision makers, but also
by including industry representatives (such as
Microsoft and the Business Software Alliance) who have
the know-how and the resources to promote IPR education
in Estonia. The discussion to include IPR in the
national curriculum is a big step forward for enhancing
awareness of the importance of IPR protection in
Estonia, and increasing the country's competitiveness.
By hosting and supporting the event, post furthered
one of the Department's and our core MSP goals of
Promoting Economic Growth and Prosperity.

PHILLIPS

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