INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION ARRANGEMENTS
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations
It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible Intellectual Property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest. It exists to promote the protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among member states and other international organizations.
Papua New Guinea became a member of WIPO in 1997. PNG's membership was driven by the fact that the country needed to establish an IP system that would address the pressing domestic needs in IP protection as well as being able to comply with the international obligations under the WTO, in particular the TRIPS Agreement.
Over the years since becoming a member, PNG through the IPOPNG has involved with WIPO through numerous cooperation activities and as a result established a strong relationship with the umbrella organization. PNG has participated and benefited meaningfully from WIPO sponsored international and national events (meetings, workshops, trainings etc..) and continues to benefit from a wide range of technical assistance aimed at building and strengthening the national IP system. Some of the significance assistance that the country continues to receive through the IPOPNG includes provision of expert advice on legislative reforms, human resources development (training of staff involved in IP administration) and the establishment of the IP Automation system currently used by the Intellectual Property Office of Papua New Guinea (IPOPNG).
As a result of the close cooperation with WIPO, PNG has been able to make significant progress in establishing its IP system. The establishment of the legal and administrative framework for IP protection and the modernization of the IPOPNG are clear indications of the developments realized in Papua New Guinea .
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization that exists to promote and facilitate trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific Region. It aims to liberalize trade and promote economic growth within the region by reducing trade barriers, increasing exports and establishing strong local economies.
Since its establishment in 1989, the organization has carried out various programs to realize its purpose and goals. It operates by working in consultation with the member economies through open forums, dialogues and negotiations. The members are not bound by any treaty or obligations but work closely through negotiations and mutual cooperation to realize the overall objective of promoting trade and investment.
PNG is one of the 21 members of the APEC and its membership became effective 19 November 1993. In order to realize free trade and investment objectives, PNG has undertaken significant structural reforms. Those measures include the Tariff Reform Program, establishment of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, and the initiatives by the INVESTMENT PROMOTION AUTHORITY (IPA) to introduce reforms that increase transparency and make PNG more attractive to investors. The IPA has also undertaken initiatives to reduce barriers to investment by doing away with the Reserved Activities List in favor of the more open Cottage Business Activities List.
As part of the structural reform process, PNG through the IPOPNG has undertaken legislative changes to the existing intellectual property laws that will further promote and encourage creativity and innovation. It has done this by amending the laws to suit TRIPS Agreement requirements and also put in place a modern IP granting and registration system. The IPOPNG is now progressing towards fully establishing itself so that it continues to play a meaningful role in the country's development.
The APEC has also played a vital role in providing various forms of technical assistance to PNG to build its capacity in intellectual property administration. The assistance has been provided in the form of training, workshops, meetings etc. PNG has been able to access these IPR related APEC programs through its membership and involvement with the Intellectual Property Experts Group (IPEG).
The Registrar of the IPOPNG is a member of the IPEG and will continue participate and exchange information on IPR issues concerning the Asia-Pacific region. PNG also provides Individual Action Plan (IAP) reports to APEC on the progress of the reforms. In August 2007, PNG hosted the APEC Regional Seminar on IPR Enforcement and was attended by the member economies and representatives from the other 13 Pacific Island Countries.
hosting of the regional seminar was a significant achievement in itself for the country considering that it had not had many opportunities in hosting such major APEC related events in the past.
The IPOPNG has a strong working relationship with IP Australia . This mutual relationship has been built over the years of cooperation in the field of intellectual property. In March 2003, a formal Cooperation Arrangement was signed between the two offices to formalise and further strengthen this relationship. Under this arrangement, the IP Australia provides technical assistance to IPOPNG by conducting search and substantive examination all patent applications lodged with IPOPNG. The arrangement has been working very well and IPOPNG has been able to grant a number of patents in the last 5 years. There are other forms of technical assistance IP Australia continues to provide with the aim of building capacity within the IPOPNG. This includes assistance in the areas of human resource development, expert advice on legislative reforms and intellectual property awareness.
Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA)
IPOPNG and Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) have established a close working relationship mainly on the possibilities of assisting in the formation and establishment of a CMO in PNG. APRA has provided technical assistance by providing expert advise on the copyright law amendments and also supported in staging national and regional workshops recently .