Bhutan at the WIPO Gen­eral Assem­bly 2017

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The sec­re­tary for min­istry of eco­nomic af­fairs Dasho Yeshi Wangdi, led a del­e­ga­tion from Bhutan to at­tend the 57th Se­ries of Meet­ings of the As­sem­blies of the mem­ber states of the World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WIPO) at its Head­quar­ters in Geneva from Oc­to­ber 2 to 11, 2017.

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

Bhutan be­come a mem­ber in 1994 and sub­se­quently ac­ceded to in­ter­na­tional treaties and con­ven­tional treaties and con­ven­tion re­lat­ing to in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty such as the Paris Con­ven­tion for the Pro­tec­tion of In­dus­trial Prop­erty, Berne Con­ven­tion for the Pro­tec­tion of Lit­er­ary and Artis­tic Works and Madrid Agree­ment and Pro­to­col Con­cern­ing the In­ter­na­tional Reg­is­tra­tion of Marks. The In­dus­trial Prop­erty Act and the Copy­right Act of King­dom of Bhutan deal­ing with Patents, In­dus­trial De­sign, Trade­mark and Copy­right and re­lated rights were en­acted in 2001 and re­spec­tive reg­istries were set up. 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 57th Se­ries of Meet­ing of the As­sem­blies of the mem­ber states of WIPO in Geneva pro­vided mem­ber states the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in dis­cus­sions on the bud­get and pro­grams re­port for the pe­riod Oc­to­ber 20162017 and fu­ture bud­get and pro­grams 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.

On the side­lines of the meet­ing, the del­e­ga­tion met with WIPO’s Di­rec­tor Gen­eral and so­licited WIPO’s as­sis­tance in build­ing ca­pac­ity of 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.

Some of the mat­ters dis­cussed dur­ing the bi­lat­eral meet­ing en­com­passed draft­ing of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Pol­icy for Univer­sity, set­ting up to the Col­lec­tive Man­age­ment Or­ga­ni­za­tion (CMOs), up gra­da­tion of In­dus­trial Prop­erty Au­to­ma­tion Sys­tem (IPAS), de­vel­op­ing brand­ing strat­egy, set­ting up of the Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Sup­port Cen­ters (TISCs) ca­pac­ity de­vel­op­ment for join­ing the Patent Co­op­er­a­tion Treaty (PCT), the Hague Agree­ment and the WIPO In­ter­net Treaties, Tra­di­tional Knowl­edge (TKs) re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, and de­vel­op­ment of aware­ness and out­reach ma­te­ri­als for cre­atives In­dus­tries.

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