SINGAPORE, July 2 (Bernama) -- Heads of the Asean Intellectual Property Offices have expressed their commitment to stronger cooperation to support the integration of Asean Economic Community.
They made the commmitment at the four-day 44th Asean Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) in Ho Chih Minh City which ends on Thursday.
The meeting was Officiated by Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Tran Van Tung, a statement released by Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) said here here Wednesday.
The meeting was encouraged by the good progress of various initiatives under the Asean Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Action Plan 2011-2015.
Chaired by IPOS chief executive Tan Yih San, the AWGIPC is an Asean regional platform to foster a business-friendly IP environment in Southeast Asia that covers 630 million people.
Guided by the IPR Action Plan, Asean has made notable progress in improving its IP ecosystem and is fast becoming a business-friendly region.
Highlights of the 44th AWGIPC meeting included the participation of key dialogue partners such as Hideo Hato, Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office, and He Zhimin, Deputy Commissioner of China's State Intellectual Property Office.
The meeting also saw the enlarged engagement with Asean Intellectual Property Association which comprised IP practitioners, to better understand the issues faced by the IP community.
The Asean IP Offices also attended the 6th Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Committee Meeting which addressed initiatives to promote intellectual property and the member states' accession to the Madrid Protocol.
All the IP Heads discussed and reviewed the progress of the customised Asean Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) programme which reduces the cost and time to obtain a patent in Asean.
Thus far, all ASPEC requests succeeded to receive an office action within six months of filing.
Strong collaborative relationships between the Asean IP Offices made this possible as examiners are now able to access and make use of each other's reports for similar patent applications to further promote patent work-sharing and exchange of best practices in Asean.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was also signed by Tan Yih San, and Ta Quang Minh, Director General of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP), signalling enhanced cooperation between the two IP Offices.
The MOU will see stronger collaborations in promoting IP utilisation and more assistance to businesses seeking IP protection in the Singapore and Vietnam markets.
Areas of partnership will include quality administration and capacity building, technology transfer and commercialisation, IP valuation, as well as promotion of IP to SMEs and the public.
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