YEREVAN, MARCH 16, Law students of Luys Foundation, who initiated the Irava-Tech conference aimed at technological development in Armenia, plan to establish a consulting company that will strive to become an Armenian McKinsey or BCG.
Eduard Grigoryan, co-founder of Irava-Tech, student of the Law School of the Harvard University, gave an interview to ARMENPRESS on this topic.
-What problems can be faced by the newly-established Armenian technological companies in the field of protection of intellectual property?
-The Armenain government makes great efforts for promoting the IT field. This is an opportunity which the country has: a talented young generation in the conditions of limited natural resources. The government carries out a great activity with the private sector, but at this stage the problem is that there is a need for establishment of strong legal and financial environment, in other words, an ecosystem that will contribute to the constant development of start-ups. The investments in this field mainly come from the US and Europe, 90% of the venture capital coming from abroad is from these two markets. But in order to attract new investor we should have a strong legal system, and the Irava-Tech is based on the idea to create a network of specialists who will be able to assist these structures to be improved so that the foreign investors will come to Armenia and help the talented Armenian companies to develop. On the other hand, our goal is to act as a bridge between Armenia and the Western countries so that the Armenian companies will enter international markets.
-Will you talk more about these issues?
-We are talking about two main issues. The first one is of legal nature, such as the main process of the protection of intellectual property. People invest a lot of time and great efforts by developing new technologies which is very difficult to protect by the legal system in Armenia. Armenia has adopted the Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property, but it has not been completely implemented and the registration of internationally recognized patent is difficult in Armenia. Quite often Armenian inventors have to protect their right to intellectual property in the US. We are trying to help the Armenian scientists to have a protection in Armenia, and this will also benefit the Armenian government.
The second issue is the financing of innovations. Armenia is a small country in order to promote great ideas that need funding. Thus, we need to be sure that people can find assistance to their ideas.
-In other words, you think that the Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property must be improved?
-Yes, I do. The legal field, like the remaining fields, develops, they are not constant, when new technologies arrive, they are a great challenge for the legal system. 100 years ago we had horses, now we do not have them, we have high technologies, artificial intellect, but the laws we have are old and sometimes not practical.
As for the intellectual property, it’s really difficult for the lawmakers to understand the technologies and create a legal system that will protect the intellectual property as even technologies do not fully understand what they have created.
-Do you see any steps by the state on solving these issues?
-The country tries to take steps in the protection of intellectual property, it signed a number of agreements, but the establishment of this system is a long process, you cannot sign a document one night and be confident that everything will automatically work well. Long time is needed for the lawyers, judges to learn applying the new regulations and ways of doing business.
-How can you assist the Armenian start-ups to protect their new ideas?
-Our goal is to create a network of the world’s leading professionals who will be available online. Starting from this year all our materials will be available online and one can find the answer of the question on how to protect intellectual property at the website of Luys Foundation. There will be a short description what you need to do first, what are the procedures, we will also provide contact information of this or that person and organizations who can be useful.
Last year when we initiated this idea we imagined the works at three stages. The first stage was last year, we gathered and inspired the local lawyers and entrepreneurs to think about these issues. We try to implement the second stage this year, the network component, when people from the whole world can join our network and protect their rights and interests. According to the third stage we want to establish a company in Armenia where people can get consultation on legal, financial and business-related issues. We want to create an Armenian McKinsy or BCG.
-When do you plan to implement it?
-I know everyone wants to see it as soon as possible as it is quite an inspiring idea. This is a long-term project, I think two-three years will be required for implementing it. As the physical presence of specialists in the office was ensured quite hard, financial resources are also needed, but I am full of hope that we will be able to form the network and have that office in Armenia in the upcoming two-three years.