APEC 2018 News

Overlapping of Roles and Responsibilities Lead to Poor Cooperation in dealing with Counterfeit Products

Jana Zoriry – EMTV Online


Lack of awareness on roles of relevant Customs Agencies and Departments has lead to poor networking and effective cooperation among stakeholders.

PNG Customs Services Director, Intellectual Property Rights and Passenger Policy, Tom Vere revealed this during PNG’s presentation at the recent two-day Sub Committee Customs Procedure (SCCP) Meeting on Intellectual Property Rights.

“Gaps in Papua New Guinea legislation and instances of overlapping of roles and responsibilities have been identified during stakeholder consultations on traditional knowledge and expressions on culture as issues to mass production and sale of counterfeit PNG products,” says Mr Vere.

Mr Vere added that the issue was not only to do with creativity misappropriation but also the activities that result from creativity that were now taken over by foreigners.

“Bilums are hand woven, PNG made bags and these bilums are counterfeited and also PNG design blouse and the design of PNG’s national and provincial flags possibly smuggled on or manufactured in the country,” adds Vere.

Mr Vere also added that the laws they have identified to be violated were the Copyright and Naming Rights Law of 2000, Investment Promotion Act of 1992 and the National Identity Regulation of 1973 which governs the use of National Emblems and Riganas of PNG.

And says the way forward is through networking and collaboration with appropriate line agencies in introduce appropriate legislation, review existing laws and streamline processes and systems.

Mr Vere also made an appeal on behalf of the country to other economy members to assist in targeting priority number three of strengthening structural reform to address the issue of the abuse of PNG trademark products.

Chinese Taipei responded by sharing its experience with protecting traditional forms of written expression and cultural items cited in 2015 by passing a new law which was design at protecting traditional intelligence rights of all tribal people.

Under this law, all traditional intelligence rights belong to the Council of the Tribes and if any person wanted to use the trademark or pattern, consent must be accorded from the council of the indigenous tribes.

Anything involving indigenous intelligence rights is given notice to the Aboriginal Agent Database and feedback is given if these specific items violate registered items of not.

If items are registered in the Database, specific procedures are then taken to ensure that stakeholders have the chance to justify their products and not violating any council’s right.

Chinese Taipei accepted PNG’s request to hold a separate bi-lateral meeting to further discuss the issue.


Source: APEC News Release

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