Opening Remarks by Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt at the Intellectual Property Rights Workshop

Ambassador Galt at the Intellectual Property Rights Workshop

AMBASSADOR GALT: Good morning, everyone.

Thank you Michael, good morning everyone, in Mongolia rain and snow is auspicious; so I think we’re off to a very good start this morning.

It’s a great pleasure to be here, Ms. Oyungerel, Chairman Liotta, colleagues from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, thank you for being here this morning, and for taking part in this Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

I’m pleased to see American Chamber of Commerce Mongolia members, officials from the State Registration and Intellectual Property Office, and officials from across the Government of Mongolia here with us today.

Also, pleased to see representatives of companies here to in the discussions

I look forward to constructive conversations on the important topic of intellectual property rights over the next two days.

No one should underestimate the value of intellectual property rights, or the need for governments, businesses, and private citizens to work together to protect these rights.

Whether you are Microsoft seeking to protect software that you’ve spent billions of dollars developing, or a Mongolian herder branding a new cheese with secure trademarks, having a transparent and reliable system to protect intellectual property rights is essential to innovation and success in business.

Proper intellectual property rights laws and enforcement of those laws give businesses the incentive and resources to develop new products, create production facilities, and expand their workforce.

It is fitting that the U.S. Department of Commerce chose to host this workshop here as Mongolia has a good record of protecting intellectual property rights.

We are proud to highlight Mongolia’s efforts to protect intellectual property rights in our annual Investment Climate Statement which is available on our Embassy website.

Mongolia has signed almost all of the key international treaties and agreements related to intellectual property rights protection.

Mongolian laws and regulations allow for government seizure of counterfeit goods at the borders by Customs Authorities and from store shelves by the State Registration and Intellectual Property Office.

And while criminal prosecution for intellectual property rights violations is possible in Mongolia, the United States Government, supported by the business community, would like to see Mongolia use criminal prosecution more aggressively to deter intellectual property rights piracy.

So why is protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights important?

Protection of intellectual property rights is critical to public health and safety.

Protecting intellectual property rights encourages innovative economies, enriches individuals and companies, and preserves health, and saves lives.

Over the next two days you will hear about numerous examples of dangerous counterfeit products – toxic cosmetics, poisonous food, deadly medical products – that violate copyrights and trademarks and would have entered markets with disastrous consequences but for the efforts of dedicated public servants like many of you with us today.

As you see from the array of public and private groups here today, protecting intellectual property rights takes a dedicated team from both government and the private sector, a true public-private partnership.

The United States Government and the American Chamber of Commerce Mongolia have already begun to work together with the Mongolian government to fully apply the current strong tools in Mongolia’s intellectual property rights enforcement regime and to enhance areas where improvements are possible.

In that spirit, I encourage everyone here to actively participate in conversations on these topics during these two days.

We have brought in experts — not to lecture — but to facilitate discussion between the private sector and government on how efforts to protect intellectual property rights can be enhanced.

We look forward to future joint efforts that will make Mongolia a regional and global leader and a model for effective public-private partnership to protect intellectual property rights and create prosperity, promote trade and investment, and save lives.

Thank you very much.