| James Kon |
CONTINUING its commitment to implementing trademark-related initiatives under the Asean IPR Action plan 2011-2015, Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) with the assistance of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is currently working on a roadmap that will include reviews and amendments to the country’s current Trademark Act and Rules.
The latest development in the move to strengthen protection of Intellectual Property in the country was disclosed by Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), who is also the CEO of Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) in his opening remarks as the guest of honour at the WIPO Sub-regional Seminar on ‘Effective Utilisation of Trademark Classification Systems’.
“BruIPO will be implementing an integrated IP administration system which is more business-oriented. This holistic approach will not only place Brunei Darussalam at par with intellectual property offices (IPOs) in the region but it will also be able to create and promote a more ‘business-friendly’ ecosystem that will ensure that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and multi-national corporations (MNCs) alike are well protected in their IPs,” he said.
He also added that “the step of implementing an integrated IP administration system is not only aligned to the initiatives under the Asean IPR Action plan 2011-2015 in the modernisation of IP offices but also in line with the titah of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to create a more pro-business environment in order to spur economic growth and create more job opportunities for locals, especially in the private sector.”
This year has been fruitful in the areas of Intellectual Property Rights for Brunei, Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin said acknowledging the fact that the achievements are owed primarily to the concerted effort of the relevant enforcement agencies and government departments, as well as BruIPO’s continuous effort in promoting public awareness on the importance of IPR protection, which resulted in Brunei remaining off the USTR’s 301 Watch List this year.
Twenty participants comprising officials responsible for Trademark Examination and Classification Systems from the Asean member states’ intellectual property offices, attended the two-day seminar which was facilitated by foreign speakers from WIPO, Japan Patent Office (JPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), China, and the Korean Intellectual Property Organisation (KIPO).
The seminar aimed to provide participants with an opportunity to learn about trademark classification systems such as Nice Classification (NCL) which is an international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of trademarks administered by WIPO and to exchange national experiences in using the system.
Antonios Farassopoulos, the Director of the International Classifications and Standards Division of WIPO, in his speech highlighted the importance of NCL in defining accurately the scope of trademark protection while Sunato Sato, the Director of International Trademark Classification Office of the JPO, shared his experiences in the implementation of NCL.
Also present at the event was Noriko Iki, the Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam and other officials.