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Mon 28 Sep 2009 12:46 AM

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Arab League and Microsoft in software piracy initiative

New Arab/English online portal aimed at combating software piracy in ME region.

The Arab League, Microsoft Corp. and Khasawneh & Associates confirmed on Sunday the launch of the Arab Intellectual Property Centre, an online portal providing a central hub for ‘best practice’ sharing and legal resources on intellectual property in the Arab region.

The site intends boosting efforts in the region to protect intellectual property rights via a central database on intellectual property and internet crime issues.

It will also include an extensive collection of regional laws and regulations, international treaties and agreements and intellectual property case law from around the region, WAM reported.

Partially funded by investment from Microsoft, the portal can be viewed at

. The site is available in Arabic and English.

"Intellectual property has a significant role to play in the development of knowledge-based economies across the Arab world," commented Mrs. Maha Al Bakheet, head of the Arab League's Intellectual Property Unit.

"It is vital that policymakers have robust data and guidance on how best to tackle piracy and protect intellectual property, and the Arab Intellectual Property Centre is a vital measure towards this shared objective,'' she added.

Dale Waterman, Microsoft's Corporate Attorney for Anti Piracy for the Middle East and Africa region said: "Software piracy and counterfeiting are damaging the prospects for consumers, businesses and economies across the region. Microsoft is committed to working towards a regional reset on intellectual property."

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