Ivan N. Ivanov is a leading Bulgarian expert in the field of intellectual property, with active public activity in support of the national intellectual property; 14 years ago, with the involvement of some enthusiasts, he created IPBulgaria.bg, and with his participation and support the portal became a center for IP discussions and information; founder and industrial property representative in the intellectual property consultancy agency IPConsulting.eu
Mr. Ivanov, this year the World intellectual property organization WIPO announced for a motto of the World intellectual property day „ Get up, stand up. For music ” – what does this motto mean to you?
“Get up, stand up. For music ” is both very complicated motto, but also close to our normal routine describing our way of life and existence. Music is in us and we need it and it „music“ – the artwork needs us. This is a motto that calls for awakening and inspires us to stand, each one as he can, as he understands, behind the music, in defense of „his music“. I am impressed by the expressiveness of this motto, which has so much content, emotions and action, and which at the same time is so short. With very few words, just like true artists can do it, great content is fulfilled, it unites, mentally and emotionally millions of people. Millions of people around the world perform, create and are excited about music. Millions of creators can call their work music, can associate their work with music or have created their art works while listening, performing or thinking about certain music.
Getting up, awakening is a necessity, a call, outlining the problem, that we close our eyes and senses, and at the same time awakening is a beautiful beginning, a moment when you can do everything – you decide how „your new day” will start.
Would you associate the motto of this world day with Bulgaria and how it sounds to you in view of our country?
We are not on a desert island in Bulgaria – trends are the same at home and throughout the world. The exchange of goods and services, movement of people and information is so fast, that emerging artworks, innovations and developments are distributed sometimes as quickly as thought, and together with them the accompanying problems and competition for maximum benefit. On the field of intellectual property, the existence of competition is a real factor and if we are not awaken, we will not hear the music that is played, figuratively speaking. Here in Bulgaria, we do not always understand well, that not only the circumvention of existing rights is the easy way of life; that limitating other people’s rights will bring us success. I have a feeling that we do not have enough confidence that we can use intellectual property rights in our favour and obtain maximum benefit using created rules. Intellectual property system itself was created to bring benefit to creators and those who have invested in them.
You say that according to you, the system for copyright and intellectual property protection is beneficial, but not everybody in Bulgaria is convinced in that.
Yes, here the main problem lies in understanding and the problem is immersed by the fact, that there is no discussion of the topic, or at least it is not enough. For example, today – World intellectual property day – the public administration is resting – it’s Sunday – they are not awaken, they have not stood up and do not call anyone to stand in support of music. Personal example is catching – today only IPBulgaria.bg will spread its festive message on the webpage of the portal and on the CopyRights.bg site, through its newsletter and in social networks; The State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies will hold a seminar called „Intellectual property – a formula for success, creativity and innovation“, and state administration will miss again the day.
You think that things should start with a change in the behavior of state administration, don’t you?
According to the law, national policy is led by its administration in the field of intellectual property. There is a consensus on the IP theme in the world – this is a subject that requires highest national involvement and that is why within the UN was created the World intellectual property organization – a place where all questions are discussed, international agreements and contracts are coordinated and concluded. In Bulgaria, years after this world consensus, we have not even started the discussion about the fact that we need uniform state authority for intellectual property – Bulgaria does not have a single administration, committee or council for intellectual property. Today, industrial rights are registered in the Patent Office, which is rather a trademark office (patent applications are a minimum number), it is necessary at least the name of this institution to match its functions. There is copyrights directorate in the Ministry of culture, which has the functions of a regulator in the field of copyrights – strange overlapping of competences and responsibilities in the context of the principle of conflict of interest – Ministry of Culture is a user of copyright, at the same time it is a regulator and administrative-punishing body. Not fully clarified remain the functions of the Executive Agency for variety testing and seed control and the Minister of Agriculture in the protection of new plant varieties and animal breeds and their subordination to the Patent Office.
Are you talking about the need to create an intellectual property office, following the example of many other countries in the world?
Yes, namely the new reading of trends in intellectual property field, our membership in the European Union and the maximum benefit, which can be obtained for Bulgarian artists, industry and investors in the country, require aggregation of the administrative capacity in a national office for intellectual property. The united capacity of the administration will allow provision of timely competitive information services for artists, inventors and investors; deployment of a complete information environment, real evaluation, financial support and market for IP objects and availability of the system for Bulgarian persons without creating incentives for foreign applicants and users.
What would you wish the readers of IPBulgaria.bg on the World Intellectual Property Day?
„Get up, stand up. For music” – let us not miss the morning, getting up for the novelties, let us listen to music, let us listen to Bulgarian music – Rado Mihov is a good example of this, let us listen to the music in the works of Bulgarian authors – Veronika Deneva wrote to us three wonderful books; music is inspiration and necessity for the dances, which Zoritsa Radlovska shows to us, for the photos of Rosen Aleksandrov, for Mitko Tsonev and for all of us.
Happy World Intellectual Property Day!