| Azlan Othman |
THE Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) through the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) hosted a seminar on the ‘Protection and Promotion of Asean Geographical Indication’, which is part of the greater EU-Asean Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and took place at the iCentre in Anggerek Desa yesterday.
The activity is in line with the promotion of local products through branding and protection. This focusses on enhancing the capacity of the productive sector in the Asean region to develop and protect their own Geographical Indications (GIs) and to use them as a marketing tool. A GI is a name or sign given to a product which possesses a certain set of qualities unique to a specific geographical location.
The objectives of the seminar were to strengthen the skills and knowledge of professionals in the public and private sectors that are involved in the development of GIs, to raise awareness on the GIs’ economic impact and strengthening the network for information sharing among stakeholders.
The initiative also aims to provide assistance to Asean GIs to facilitate their registration and promotion in the European Union and other foreign markets as well as sharing information and best practices on enhancing the value of local products with a GI.
Participants at the seminar represented the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Law Society, local small and medium-sized enterprises and BruneiIPO.
The one-day seminar was facilitated by a senior legal expert on intellectual property issues, Audrey Aubard, who specialises in quality labelling and branding strategies.
During the seminar she touched on a wide range of topics pertaining to the concept of GIs and their benefit, the main elements of a GI scheme, GI specification and the socio-economic impact for Brunei Darussalam as well as the GIs control system.
The seminar ended with a question-and-answer session on identifying GI products, means of protection and its benefits.
Examples of such products include black pepper from Sarawak, Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka and Bohemian crystal glass from the Czech Republic.
Geographical indications are protected in Brunei Darussalam by provisions in the Trademark Act through ‘collective’ or ‘certification’ marks.
For more information on trademark registration, the BruIPO can be contacted at 2230111 or by visiting their website at www.bruipo.com.bn.