Integrated Intellectual Property Policy endorsed

Kathmandu, March 7

The Cabinet meeting on Monday has endorsed the Integrated Intellectual Property Policy, 2073, after its bill committee gave a nod to the policy.

The new policy intends to address all issues related to protection of intellectual property (IP) rights of people, informed Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi. IP rights refer to the legal rights of individuals and organisations to creations of the mind like inventions, designs, and literary and artistic works, among others.

Currently, there are separate laws for the protection of industrial intellectual property rights and copyrights. While the Ministry of Industry (MoI) is responsible for industrial intellectual property issues like patent, design, trademark and geographical indications (GI), the issues related to copyright fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). Due to lack of a regulatory legal framework to deal with IP-related issues, MoCTCA currently has set up the Nepal Copyright Registrars’ Office to deal with copyright-related issues. Similarly, a separate dedicated section at MoI is dealing with cases on intellectual property — patent, design, trademark, GI, among others.

As a result of this, the two ministries earlier had reached an agreement to set up a common regulatory mechanism for intellectual property rights.

Nepal had acceded to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2005. This compels Nepal to report to WIPO about the progress achieved based on commitments of international treaties. Due to this, the government has identified the need for a single office to deal with intellectual property rights in the new policy instead of separate institutions dealing on this issue currently.

“Endorsement of the policy not only guarantees the IP rights of people and institutions but it will also encourage investment in the country in many ways,” Joshi said. According to him, the MoI will also expedite process to bring an act related to IP soon.