106. The representative of the United States agreed that, as reflected in the communications from Uganda and Sierra Leone, intellectual property rights played a strong role in development, and were an integral part of the policies and practices that promote the growth of science, technology, culture and innovation. He also appreciated the efforts of these two countries to define their IPR-related technical and financial assistance needs that were necessary for them to work toward full implementation of the TRIPS Agreement at the appropriate time. His delegation was committed to continually enhancing its activities relevant to both Articles 66.2 and 67 of the Agreement. Intellectual property-related technical assistance and training, trade capacity building, development assistance and infrastructure development were all integral elements of his Government's assistance efforts. The goals of these efforts included helping developing countries create the conditions essential to develop a sound technological base, assisting them in improving their administration, management and protection of intellectual property and encouraging the effective transfer of technology.
107. He welcomed the detailed and valuable proposals submitted by Uganda and Sierra Leone and supported the suggestion that further technical assistance programmes, whether bilaterally or through international organizations, include regional organizations such as ARIPO. He said that regional IP offices were the way of the future for global cooperation in reducing resource burdens on patent offices and improving the quality examination process. Strengthening individual IP offices was also an important tool in providing a strong and functioning IP regime. The US Patent and Trademark Office, for example, had developed several programmes under its Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) concerning patent and trademark administration. These programmes looked at how to run and set up IP offices, with discussions on resource and computerization issues. His delegation was interested in having more LDCs participate in these programmes.
108. The enforcement priorities outlined in the communications from Uganda and Sierra Leone were shared by his delegation. The GIPA programmes had included numerous enforcement seminars for judges, prosecutors, customs officers, and other government officials. He looked forward to examining how support for the enforcement priorities outlined in the communications could be continued. He also supported the efforts suggested in both priority needs assessments to promote innovation, human skill development and building capacity for technology transfer in these countries, in particular those efforts relating to improving business education and awareness about intellectual property for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). SME entrepreneurs were the innovators and income generators in the economy. Making sure they understand their IP rights and how IP could benefit them was critical for sustainable developmental benefits.