Intellectual Property in spotlight

|     Danial Norjidi     |

A NUMBER of notable events pertaining to Intellectual Property (IP) recently took place in Brunei Darussalam.

The 55th Meeting of the Asean Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) and Related Meetings convened at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas on March 26.

The meeting, organised by the Energy and Industry Department, saw the attendance of delegates from the 10 Asean member states and officials representing their respective IP offices.

The 55th Meeting of the AWGIPC aimed to discuss and address IP issues and exchange views and updates on Asean priorities on IP for 2018 and the implementation of the AWGIPC IP Rights Action Plan within the Asean member states.

The meeting also saw the participation of various dialogue partners, namely the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the State Intellectual Property Office at the People’s Republic of China.

In addition to this meeting, another notable event was the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the heads of Asean IP offices, including Brunei Darussalam, and the KIPO.

The agreement is for the establishment of an institutional framework for structured cooperation towards promoting the development of IP systems of the parties as well as strengthening bilateral exchange and cooperation in the field of IP.

The signing ceremony took place at the ICC in Berakas, and saw Brunei Darussalam and the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) represented by Shahrinah binti Yusof Khan in her capacity as the Deputy Registrar and Head of BruIPO, Energy and Industry Department.

It was stated in a press release that the MoC was the result of discussions between the KIPO and the AWGIPC on Asean IP Rights Action Plan 2016-2025. It is designed to meet the goals of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by transforming Asean into an innovative and competitive region through the use of IP and ensuring that the region remains an active player in the international IP community.

Dr Freddy Harris, Chairman of the AWGIPC and Director-General of the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Indonesia delivered remarks at the ceremony, highlighting that the “signing marks the launch of our cooperative efforts in IP as we work together to support the goals of the Asean Community,”

“Under this MoC, we hope to be able to expand our knowledge in the different fields of IP as well as share our experiences on topics such as IP protection and management, IP automation system development, IP valuation and IP commercialisation.

“The Asean IP offices thus look forward to cementing our relationship through this MoC in the coming years,” he added.

Sung Yunmo, the Commissioner of the KIPO also gave a speech, saying, “I believe that this MoC will contribute to deepening the Korea-Asean cooperation for years to come.

“Through the Korea-Asean IP cooperation, the KIPO aims to create an IP environment that supports our growing economic partnership and contributes to the development of the IP system of Asean,” he added.

Another notable recent event in the field of IP was the launch of the ARISE+IPR project, which took place as its 1st Sub-Project Steering Committee Meeting held at the Design and Technology Building in Anggerek Desa.

The 1st Sub-Project Steering Committee Meeting saw the attendance of officials from IP Offices from Asean as well as the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

According to a press release from the EUIPO, the ARISE+IPR project sees the European Union (EU) partnering with Asean member countries to further regional integration through enhanced management, protection and enforcement of IP Rights (IPR),.

The EUR5.5-million ARISE+IPR programme is funded by the EU and implemented by EUIPO, an EU agency based in Alicante, Spain.

The project will see close cooperation with Asean member countries and the private sector in the next five years, and aims to create a robust IPR system by supporting the Asean IP (IP) offices to deliver timely, quality and accessible trademark and design services to users.

It also aims to enhance the Asean Economic Community by developing platforms and creating infrastructures; extend the Asean IP Networks and their engagement; create a regional mechanism to promote asset creation and commercialisation, focussing particularly on Geographical Indications (GI); and highlight the importance of IP for national economies and businesses.

Building on the strong cooperation developed between the EU and Asean member countries, ARISE+IPR will support Asean in reaching its goals set out in the Asean IPR Action Plan 2016-2025. The project also aims to support greater economic integration in the Asean region through the implementation of the Asean Economic Community Blueprint 2015.