Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 24:

A visiting US Professor James P Chandler has underscored the need to enact appropriate legislations related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Nepal.

“There is an immense need to have domestic legislations relating to IPR such as Trade Mark Law, Competition Law and Cyber Law to ensure the protection of intellectual properties,” said Chandler, at a talk programme on ‘Brand protection as intellectual property right: Cross cutting issues’, jointly organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and American Centre, here today.

He further added that with an effective implementation of these laws, fair trade culture would be promoted, which will eventually benefit both the producers and consumers.

“Brand is a fundamental of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) that reflects the commitment about health, safety and quality. Hence, it needs protection through appropriate legislation,” said Chadler, who is also president of the National Intellectual Property Law Institute (NIPLI), USA.

“Once the brand protection measure is enforced through effective law, the counterfeit or grey product could be vanished and help abandon illicit trading,” said the author of Economic

Espionage Act-1996, adding that every country should create an institution dealing with IPR related issues.

Stating that the brand as a personal property or property of an institution, Professor Chadler said that legal protection of a brand is to promote its credibility as well as ensure all aspects of consumer interest. “However, Nepal still lacks a comprehensive legislation for brand protection,” he concerned.

Referring the Copyright Act-2002, he said that the legislation is weak, as it lacks implementing legislation. “Such a legislation makes sure about effective implementation of any policy or act.” In absence of the implementing legislation, jurisdiction activities related to IPR issues will be hampered and victims of copyright piracy or counterfeit activities continue to suffer, he said. “Following Nepal’s entry into the global multilateral trade forum— World Trade Organisation (WTO), IPR issues will be more crucial, as it will be a party to the TRIPs Agreement,” Professor Chadler said.

Necessary homework are underway to upgrade and update various policies and acts related to IPR making them compatible to the WTO provisions, informed Bharat Bahadur Thapa, director general at the department of industry. He also said that the government is framing new legislations as per the requirement of WTO provisions.

Speaking on the occasion, FNCCI president Binod Bahadur Shrestha highlighted the activities being carried out for awareness generation on brand protection and IPR related issues amongst business community. FNCCI has already set up a ‘Brand Protection Group’ in order to promote and protect trademarks and brands.