Economic affairs secretary Dasho Yeshi Wangdi led a Bhutan delegation to the 57th series of meetings of the assemblies of the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva from October 2 to 11.

The 57th assembly provided members the opportunity to participate in discussions on the budget and programmes report for the period October 2016-2017 and future budget and programmes of WIPO.

“One topic of relevance, particularly to countries like Bhutan was the deliberation on the intergovernmental committee’s progress in preparing a framework for dealing with traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expression and genetic resources,” a press release from Department of Intellectual Properties stated.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Bhutanese delegation met with WIPO’s Director General and sought WIPO’s assistance in training Intellectual Property officials through internship in WIPO’s offices dealing with trademark, patent, industrial design and copyright. The delegation also had bilateral discussions with representatives from other Intellectual Property offices and discussed areas of mutual interest.

Other matters discussed during the bilateral meetings were drafting of Intellectual Property Policy for University, setting up of the collective management organisation, upgradation of Industrial Property Automation System, developing branding strategy, setting up of the Technology Innovation Support Centers, capacity development for joining the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Hague Agreement and the WIPO Internet Treaties, traditional knowledge related activities, and development of awareness and outreach materials for creatives industries.

Bhutan became a member in 1994. The Industrial Property Act and the Copyright Act dealing with patents, industrial design, trademark and copyright and related rights were enacted in 2001.

The two legislations are currently under review for amendment in consultation with WIPO to cater to emerging national developments as well as international advancements with respect to intellectual property.

The WIPO is one of the specialised agencies of the United Nations established in 1967 providing a global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation for its 191-member states. Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.

Staff Reporter