The Central Committee for Intellectual Property (CCIP) held their first meeting at the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as committee chairman, first delivered a speech where he said this was the first meeting of the CCIP since its formation under Section 4(a) of the Industrial Design Law, Trademark Law, Patent Law and Copyright Law.
The Vice President said as technological competition increases around the world, intellectual property becomes more important in the economic, education, social and other sectors as a global market system is being implemented. He said it will also support the development of a nation’s scientific and technological cooperation, foreign trade, and investment.
The Vice President said Myanmar became a member to the World Trade Organization in 1996, joined ASEAN on 3 July 1997, and became the 176th nation to join the World Intellectual Properties Organization on 15 May 2001.
Since it is a member to these international organizations, Myanmar needs to abide by the Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Intellectual Property Cooperation and the Ministry of Education drafted the intellectual property laws for Myanmar, said the Vice President.
He said Myanmar had been trying to enact intellectual property laws for more than a decade and ratified the Industrial Design Law and Trademark Law on 30 January 2019, the Patent Law on 11 March 2019, and the Copyright Law on 24 May 2019.
The Vice President said while the Ministry of Education was tasked with drafting these laws, the duty of implementing and upholding them fell on the Ministry of Commerce. He said setting up an intellectual property system requires meeting international standards and simultaneously complying with the local political, economic and educational context.
The Vice President said that rather than implementing all four of the laws at once, implementing them one after the other would mitigate the challenges faced, expending of human resources, and technological shortcomings. He said the Central Committee of Intellectual Property and agency needs to include professionals and experts and NGOs need to contribute to the formation of the system.
The Vice President said the intellectual property laws need to be implemented swiftly as Myanmar is part of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint and needs to cooperate with other member nations in these sectors. He said although Myanmar is given a grace period from implementing provisions in the TRIPS Agreement until 1 July 2021, implementation needs to get the mechanism going.
The Vice President said they were in the process of forming a department for intellectual property under the Ministry of Commerce. He said they were continuing their work on the necessary bylaws, regulations and directives to enforce the intellectual property laws.
The Vice President ended his speech by highlighting the importance of intellectual property rights as an economic development tool for creating jobs, developing the nation and its various sectors, and elevating innovation and creativity across the nation.
Next, CCIP Vice-Chairman Union Minister Dr Than Myint urged meeting attendees to submit their ideas to swiftly implement the intellectual property laws.
This was followed by CCIP Secretary Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo explaining processes that should be completed ahead of implementing the intellectual property laws.
Next, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Intellectual Property explained the formation of the intellectual property agency and department, constructing an office building for them, and the various processes involved in implementing the intellectual property laws.
Afterwards, Deputy Ministers Dr Min Ye Paing Hein, U Bharat Singh, U Aung Hla Tun and U Win Maw Tun and meeting attendees discussed the duties of their respective ministries and cooperation extended to implement the intellectual property laws.
The directors-general of the Customs Department and the Research and Innovation Department, experts, central executive committee members of UMFCCI, and chairman of the Federation of Myanmar Engineering Society made discussions through video conferencing. The website of Department of Intellectual Property was also introduced at the meeting.—MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)