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has a new Intellectual Property (IP) policy, CONPES 4062 of November 29, 2021, with a ten-year horizon and an estimated cost of 21,403 million Colombian pesos. Its main objective is to‘Consolidate IP generation and management and its use with tools to encourage the creation, innovation, knowledge transfer, and increase the country’s productivity‘. We hope it is successful.

Before commenting on the general aspects of the CONPES, we must mention the experiences we have had throughout the years regarding the evolution of IP in the country, as we have observed a large technological gap. Furthermore, we should not dismiss the statistics on protection, or ignore the significant progress made by the different players – mainly universities – and the opportunities for improvement that result from these analyses. All RDI players are committed to this, since there are several routes already underway that must continue to progress, but many needs and gaps in policies and well-focused objectives. We have analyzed CONPES 4026 from this perspective.

Considering that the development of a country is also measured by the volume of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), we must consider how the protection has progressed or not by means of registrations in Colombia, based on at least two of them. Thus we find that from 2019 to 2021 it went from 31,500 applications for distinctive signs to 34,010 and regarding patents from 2,169 to 2,287.. Figures show that there was no significant increase but that it remained steady despite the pandemic. Looking at the figures from the regional perspective, we find that Bogota, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Atlántico and Cundinamarca give rise to the largest number of national applications, which means that innovation continues to be concentrated in these regions, so it is expected that the policy this new CONPES presents extends these indicators to the rest of the country. From a global perspective, Colombia is behind in the ranking and, as stated in the executive summary of the CONPES, the generation and use of ‘economically valuable’ IP assets is still insufficient and there are many factors that lead to this conclusion and that the recent CONPES aims to overcome..

The policy sets out five objectives, [i] and we cannot deny that it has been a careful work that attempts to implement the specific activities in its Annex A, with which those of us who have been at the forefront of IP protection, management, transfer and marketing feel identified.

Of course, the first objective on the enablingconditions in the intellectual property system for the creation and management of IP assets is very striking,particularly because it contemplates the design of a fund for financing potential innovation and technology, which is expected to reach 100% by 2028, and which seeks resources from the public and private sector, providing services for the monetization of intangible assets with portfolio management and follow-up. At the same time, periodic mapping with suggestions on the instruments in charge of the national entities related to intellectual property aimed at the affectivity of the articulation for competitiveness. And although the length of this article does not allow to go in depth on so many planned activities, it is worth highlighting that the transfer and marketing of IPRs are present in different activities to be designed and implemented within this strategy.

The activity related to the design and implementation of a strategy based on the lessons learned from the programs implemented by the intellectual property system entities to strengthen the portfolios of these IP rights is quite interesting,as it takes into account technology watch, advice on negotiation processes, and marketing strategies, highlighting that it seeks to facilitate the connection between the supply of services and the demand by companies, which today presents a very large gap.

It is also very timely to focus on the design and implementation of strategies that provide an outlet for agricultural and artisanal food products under designations of origin, and on the other hand, the promotion of collective and certification trademarks.This tool has not yet been significantly explored in the country and, as other countries have shown, is an effective tool to improve the marketing of special Colombian products and achieve better prices in the international market, more awareness of the country and greater visualization at the global level.

The importance given to human resources, which is a key aspect not only in national entities but also in the business sector, is praiseworthy. For example, a study of human capital gaps in the national IP system is proposed in order to identify the strategic profiles in IP management and marketing and make suggestions to address the gaps identified in this field.

Finally, we would not like to end this brief reflection on CONPES without highlightingits approach to copyrights involving collective management societies and the need to raise awareness among users of rights in order to highlight the importance of recognizing and paying for them.

Undoubtedly, there are many more and also important aspects contemplated in the policy in line with the reality of the country. Right now, there is total uncertainty in Colombia due to the presidential elections and the impact of the pandemic, so we wonder how the Action Plan set in this policy will be executed and followed up. We hope it is successful and PONS IP shall be actively involved in the execution of these policies.

Thank you,
Claudia Caro

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