Georgian schoolchildren have fun with intellectual property

Author:Nikoloz Gogilidze
Position:Chairman, National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia, Sakpatenti, Georgia
SUMMARY

Building intellectual property (IP) awareness is a priority for Sakpatenti, Georgia’s intellectual property office. Ensuring that members of the public have an understanding of the IP system and the economic importance of IP rights is critical in helping to create an enabling environment for business and economic growth.

 
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If we are to succeed in realizing the country’s innovative and creative potential through effective use of IP, we need to change people’s attitudes toward innovation and the incentives and safeguards that IP rights provide. And we need to promote understanding of the concrete benefits that can flow from effective use of these rights. While laws, regulations and efficient enforcement mechanisms are all necessary, they do not in themselves cultivate respect for IP among the general public. We need to win their hearts and minds.

And what better way to do this than to reach out to schoolchildren? After all, it is far easier to build understanding of the role of IP in supporting innovation and creativity and to engender greater respect for IP rights at an early age than it is to change deep-rooted misperceptions down the line. That is why Sakpatenti recently developed and launched a special educational project for primary schoolchildren. Our aim in doing so is both to inspire children about innovation and its limitless possibilities and to build respect for IP rights.

Having fun with intellectual property

We launched our special IP program for schoolchildren against a backdrop of ambitious educational reform by the Georgian Government toward a dynamic, learner-centered education model. We soon realized that communicating the right messages to schoolchildren in an appropriate way is no easy task. The real challenge is finding a way to craft and communicate key messages about intellectual property in a way that makes the children’s learning experience enjoyable and fun.

That is why we teamed up with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Georgia Primary Education Project (G-PriEd). The G-PriEd team included professional school teachers and writers tasked with developing reading materials for primary schoolchildren (grades 1-6). With their help, and the invaluable contribution of children’s author Irma Malatsidze and children’s illustrator Zurab Zulakauri, we were able to develop a series of illustrated fairy tales along with in-class exercises and lesson plans for pupils in grades 3-5. And they have been a real hit!

The materials include five stories around the themes of copyright, trademarks and patents: Doremius Solasi (copyright), Star Candles (trademarks), Umbrella, Washing Machine and Compass (inventors and patents).

About the stories

The themes of innovation and creativity and their protection run through the...

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