| James Kon |
FACED with new challenges regarding the protection of intellectual property rights, the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) through its commercial crime investigation division is striving to continue enhancing its capabilities.
This was the essence of a statement from the Acting Deputy Commissioner of the RBPF, Hj Mohd Jammy bin Hj Mohd Shah Al-Islam, in his speech at the opening of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) National Workshop for law enforcement officials yesterday.
Organised by the WIPO in cooperation with the Brunei Darussalam Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) and the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB), the two-day workshop at the Rizqun International Hotel was attended by stakeholders including enforcement personnel from the Royal Customs and Excise Department and the Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Board as well as Louise Van Greunen, Director of Building Respect for the IP Division of WIPO, Geneva.
The capabilities required to overcome challenges in intellectual property rights issues, the Acting Deputy Commissioner said, “can be in a coordinated and concerted effort with other law enforcement agencies where jurisdictions converge. It will provide more bite to law enforcement and raise awareness on the issue. There are opportunities to learn more about offences in relation to intellectual property rights issues.”
Intellectual property rights issues he said, “will continue to dominate global trade for years to come as more and more multinationals move into the realm of science and technology. Problems such as intellectual piracy will become prevalent as prices of original products become unreachable to the poor.
“Alternatives such as medicines and food supplements would be created by unscrupulous individuals to cater to the needs of the poor and will cause a burden to the government in terms of deteriorating health as a result of making use of pirated products that can cause illnesses and in worse case scenarios, deaths.”
He also highlighted the importance of protecting intellectual property, saying, “respect for intellectual property is a fundamental principle shared by all countries including Brunei Darussalam.”
The recent developments on IP, in particular the recognition of Brunei Darussalam’s efforts to combat rampant piracy in the country, led to the country’s removal from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 report consecutively in 2013 and 2014.
A recent study entitled ‘Foreign Direct Investment Across APEC: Impediments and Opportunities for Investment’ conducted by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council cited Brunei Darussalam as a protector of IP.
The recent achievements of Brunei in IP, he lauded, “would not have been possible without a concerted effort from the relevant government departments and agencies as well as the embassy of the United States of America to Brunei Darussalam.”
In conclusion, he commended BruIPO for its continuing efforts to promote public awareness and instilling respect for IP and strengthening the tangibility of creative and innovative output.
Among the topics that were covered in the workshop were the legal framework for the enforcement of IP rights in Brunei Darussalam, border measures under ‘Part III of the Agreement on Trade-related aspect of intellectual property rights’ and combating digital piracy.