| James Kon |
THE first registered trademark made in Brunei Darussalam was on May 27, 1965, for prawn crackers from Ang Kim Leng, while the first local registered patent was for the production of a window shade under Undra Enterprise.
These facts were highlighted by Janet Stori, a representative from the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO), during a recent dialogue session held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, in conjunction with World Intellectual Property Day.
Touching on the importance of intellectual property (IP), she said, “It gives protection against unauthorised use. It also helps to distinguish a business from others, it stops others from using the same or similar IP, it adds values and it’s a great marketing tool as well as a valuable asset.
“In addition, one of the reasons that IP matters is that it is only fair that the person who puts in the effort and works into an intellectual creation reaps some benefits. With IP protection, it can encourage an industry to further grow and flourish, as there is financial return.”
Explaining the five core principles of protection under intellectual property, she said, “Trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services produced or provided by one enterprise from those of another enterprise, while patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which can be a product or a process that gives a new technical solution to a problem.
“Industrial design is protection given to the features of shape configuration, pattern or ornament, which when applied to an article, gives the article a unique appearance.”
For plant varieties protection, she said, “It’s a group of plants or the characteristics that result from a given combination of plant genes, and for copyright it describes the rights that creators have over their works covering books, music, art, computer programme, medicines and so on.”
Fellow BruIPO representative Nurulain binti Haji Mohd Jaafar, meanwhile, highlighted the complete IP regime of law and regulations in her presentation.
She also explained that the BruIPO is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which enables applicants to seek international protection for their inventions simultaneously in 152 PCT contracting states, by filing one international patent application.
She said, “We are also a member of WIPO Hague for the Hague system for the international registration of industrial designs that provide a practical business solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 69 territories, through filing one single international application.
“In addition, Brunei Darussalam is also a member of WIPO Madrid, where the Madrid system is a one-stop solution for registering and managing trademarks in 119 countries, by filing in one language and paying one set of fees.”
The dialogue session was organised by Hewlett-Packard (HP) Singapore through local subsidiary Sulaiman Development Services Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the BruIPO and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).
The dialogue session was held to boost awareness among relevant stakeholders, particularly enforcement agencies and purchasing officers at government ministries and departments, on how to identify counterfeits from original goods, and the legal implications of IP rights infringement.
Members of the public can visit the Help Desk at Level 2 of the BruIPO to obtain general advice on IP and guidance on registration process, as well as assistance in conducting online database searches.