HEADS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICES IN THE PACIFIC MEET ON THE REGIONAL MECHANISM FOR TRADEMARK ADMINISTRATION

Group photo - Heads of Regional IP Offices

The Investment Promotion Authority through the IPOPNG will be hosting a Regional Meeting of the Pacific Heads of Intellectual Property Office on the Regional Mechanism for Trademark Administration from 26-28 April 2011 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Port Moresby .

The meeting is being hosted in partnership with the Pacific Island Forum Countries (PIFS) and the Australian Government.

The Australian Government through IP Australia, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) have worked closely with the Pacific Island Countries over the years to facilitate consultations and discussions on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues that concern the Pacific Island Countries.

Through these consultations, it has been acknowledged that most of the smaller countries lack capacity and expertise to individually deal with their respective IPR issues.

The issues of distance and market size, combined with status of development have rendered it difficult for them to develop and administer fully fledged or comprehensive IP systems as individual countries.

It has therefore been recognized during these consultation processes, at different levels that the Pacific Island Countries should embark on establishing a Regional IP Framework by harnessing their collective resources, expertise and adopting relevant technology to create this facility.

This regional facility would collectively work to address IP issues by sharing costs and benefits that arise from such an establishment.

Under the Pacific Plan adopted in 2005, the Forum Island leaders agreed to create an institution to advocate for and protect traditional knowledge and intellectual property.

In light of that, it was realized that trademarks are the mostly used IP right in the Pacific Region and has the potential to provide substantial economic benefits to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Region.

As a way forward, the Trade Ministers of the Pacific Island Countries agreed in June 2009 to set up a Regional Trademarks Facility.

The Ministers further endorsed that Papua New Guinea through its Intellectual Property Office will perform the role as the Regional Examining Body for Trademarks.

The Ministers noted the developments in legislation, infrastructure and staff capacity in the IP office of PNG and agreed that PNG host the Regional Examination Body under the Regional mechanism.

The objective of the three days meeting is to consider the recent developments on the Regional Mechanism for Trademark Administration and discuss the proposed Memorandum of Understanding for a Pacific Regional Trademarks Application system in the Forum Island Countries and make recommendations to the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting on its implementation in June 2011.

As we commemorate the World IP Day and begin the Meetings on the Regional Trade Mark Facility, PNG and the Pacific should embrace the creativity and innovation that is displayed within our societies and move forward to design the future for the Pacific Region in the development of intellectual property administration.