U.S. Embassy, University of Montevideo
present conference on
intellectual property rights
Prosecutor Christopher Merriam, US
Department of Justice, addresses "Practical Aspects in
Applying Intellectual Property Legislation in the United States"
May 12, 2004
Some 45 representatives of the Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce,
the recording and film industries, the Public Ministry,
AGADU and Software Legal gathered on Wednesday (May 12)
in the Business Studies Institute of Montevideo to participate
in a conference on intellectual property rights given by
Prosecutor Christopher Merriam, of the U.S. Department of
Also present was Dr. Leonardo Costa, Assistant Deputy to
the President of the Republic.
The event was co-sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay
and by the University of Montevideo.
With Dr. Beatriz Bugallo acting as moderator, the conference
opened with remarks by Dr. Mariano Brito, rector of the
University of Montevideo. Dr. Brito commented that the idea
of intellectual property transcended the practical aspects
of legislation and the legal system, but was indicative
of the human being himself, the very fruit of his mental
"The right of one's intellect
is life and is for life", he said.
The U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission James Williard
spoke on behalf of Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein. He
referred to the conference as another of the many ways in
which the United States supports Uruguay in its efforts
for greater economic development.
According to Williard, "Respect for property rights
in general, and for intellectual property in particular,
is one of the fundamental elements of our economic systems.
In addition, it is an essential factor in creating a favorable
climate for the attraction of national and international
investments while protecting them through the maintenance
of clear and stable rules."
Merriam's presentation lasted nearly an hour and a half
in which he spoke on the growing problem of intellectual
property crime and the varied manners in which the U.S.
government, through the Department of Justice's Computer
Crime and International Property Section (CCIPS), in cooperation
with various national and international organizations, is
working to stop the problem before it grows out of control.
He explained that intellectual property crimes are heavily
influenced by market demand, and stressed the need for education
and training both in the public sector and within the justice
While much of the presentation focused on copyright issues
for products such as music, movies and software, Merriam
made clear that intellectual property offenses could also
include the counterfeiting of "hard goods" or
"What we're really looking at is a problem that is
growing rapidly, but I still think we can nip it in the
bud ... provided that we
commit ourselves to making that business investment, "
Following the conclusion of Merriam's presentation, Dr.
Enrique Moller kicked off a brief question and answer session
with an informative background section aimed at educating
all present on the state of intellectual property legislation
today in Uruguay.
For Christopher Merriam's complete power point presentation,
For the U.S. Department of Justice's CCIPS web site, click