20 Apr 2015

Solomons to modernise intellectual property rights law

10:33 am on 20 April 2015

The Solomon Islands is in the process of reviewing its draft intellectual property strategy in a push to modernise the country's protection laws which date back to the early 1900s.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

The Ministries of Justice, Tourism and Foreign Affairs are all pitching into the project with Intellectual property rights experts and a representative from the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, Freddy Me'esa, says there is an urgent need to protect Solomon Islanders and their culture, traditional knowledge and practices from exploitation in this internet age.

"The overall strategic objective of that intellectual property rights strategy for Solomon Islands is to create, protect, manage and use intellectual property as strategic tools for the economic social and technological development of Solomon Islands."

Freddy Me'esa says getting a bill before parliament may be a while off but he is hoping the country can gain membership to the World Intellectual Property Organisation and sign up to the respective Berne and Paris intellectual and industrial property protection treaties this year.