Better legal provisions urged to protect IPs

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 26:

Experts and officials today underlined the need for effective legal provisions as well as mass awareness to protect intellectual properties, while utilising them for the well-being of mankind. They also stressed on the need to discourage illegal use and copying of design, trademark and patent in order to ensure healthy competition and promote sustainable economic development. Federation of Nepa-lese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Industry (D-oI) organised a programme to mark the World Intellectual Property Organisation Day 2005 today. The WIPO Day is being organised on April 26 as the founding day of WIPO 35 years ago. This year, the day has been observed with a slogan of ‘Think, Imagine and Create’.

Bharat Bahadur Thapa, secretary at the ministry of industry, commerce and supplies, underscored the need for changing traditional approaches into knowledge and technological based business tools, which need a rule-based system. “The role of an inventor or creator is very important for the protection of IPs,” he said. Thapa also urged to register IPs such as patent, design, trademark, geographical indication and trade secrets to have a proper protection. Though Nepal became a member of WIPO in 1997, only 60 products have been registered for patent. “It means that IPs protection drive has not been able to pick up,” he said, adding that this trend will cause a set back to new inventions or creations from being commercialised.

Binod Bahadur Shrestha, president of FNCCI, pointed out the need for making WTO-compatible legal provisions in order to protect local IPs and to use them for trade and industrial purposes. “Proper coordination between inventors and investors will lead to commercialisation of IPs, which will ultimately benefit all,” he said. Referring to Nepal’s commitment to enforce Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement from January 2007, Shrestha urged for capacity building of private sector. Tana Gautam, director general at DoI, said that necessary actions are underway for making the existing legal framework compatible to WTO provisions. Despite a slow progress in registration of IPs, a joint mission of private sector and government has been able to create awareness on IPs. He stre-ssed on the need to make people aware that IPs are intangible assets, while its protection would ensure inventors’ rights and consumers will be protected from fake products.