SINGAPORE: More than 80 per cent of the the 108 initiatives under the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights action plan 2011 to 2015 are expected to be completed by 2015, noted the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) during the 46th AWGIPC in Brunei Darussalam from Mar 9 to 12.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore announced this in a media release on Friday (Apr 10).

Established in 1996, the AWGIPC is a regional forum dedicated to the creation of an Intellectual Property (IP) ecosystem for businesses and the IP community, as part of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 goal. This session, chaired by Chief Executive of IPOS Tan Yih San, was where the working group completed its stock take on its progress from 2011 to 2015.

The working group found that ASEAN has acceded to a number of international treaties in the last five years. Eight of 10 ASEAN countries acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which allows applicants to seek patent protection internationally by filing a single application. Most ASEAN member states are also committed to acceding to the Madrid Protocol, which allowed applicants to seek trademark protection in several countries simultaneously by 2015, IPOS said.

The ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) work-sharing programme was established to reduce the cost and waiting time to obtain a patent within ASEAN. IPOS said 80 per cent of applicants received a document from the patent examiner within 9 months of after the examiner examined the application, allowing stakeholders to experience expedited patent filing in ASEAN – a reduced waiting time from two to three years previously.

IPOS added that the AWGIPC relaunched the ASEAN IP Portal in August 2014, which provides internet users with access to the ASEAN TMview, an online database of two million marks registered in IP offices throughout ASEAN.

MOVING FORWARD

The AWGIPC is working on its strategic action plan for the next decade, including the capitalisation and commercialisation of IP to better help businesses. The AWGIPC is also looking at creating a regional helpdesk for IP and a virtual IP academy for training purposes. A study to establish accreditation for the academy to enhance the value of training is also in the pipeline, IPOS said.

With the 46th AWGIPC, Singapore wrapped up its two-year chairmanship, which will end on Jul 31. The 47th AWGIPC, which will be hosted in Singapore in August 2015, will be chaired by Ms Shahrinah Yusof Khan, Director General of the Brunei Intellectual Property Office – who is the successor of the chairmanship. It will be part of Singapore’s flagship IP Week @ SG 2015 and the Global Forum on IP events.

Darussalam looks forward to lead ASEAN in implementing the new ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2016-2025 which has been purposefully put together during Singapore’s chairmanship in consultation with stakeholders in the region and beyond. We would like to thank Singapore for its stewardship, and hope to continue strengthening IP cooperation in the region with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.”

– CNA/dl