Kathmandu, September 15

The government is planning to introduce an umbrella policy to address all issues related to the protection of intellectual property rights by formulating a new policy.

At present, there are separate laws for protection of industrial intellectual property and copyrights. Issues related to industrial intellectual property — like patent, design, trademark and geographical indications (GI) — fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industry (MoI), whereas those related to copyrights fall under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA).

In this context, Industry Minister Mahesh Basnet and Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Kripasur Sherpa today held preliminary discussions on the formulation of a new umbrella policy and establishing a common mechanism for intellectual property, according to MoI Spokesperson Yam Kumari Khatiwada.

Under existing system, MoCTCA has set up Nepal Copyright Registrars’ Office to deal with copyright-related issues. On the other hand, the MoI has formed a dedicated section to deal with cases on intellectual property — patent, design, trademark, GI, among others.

As Nepal acceded to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2005, the country needs to report to WIPO about progress achieved based on commitments of international treaties. The government, in this regard, has identified requirement of sole intellectual property office to deal with issues related to intellectual property, instead of separate institutions.

After the discussions, Ministers Sherpa and Basnet have agreed to set up an advisory committee for the formulation of the new policy. Secretaries of both the ministries will jointly lead the advisory committee.