PERMANENT Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, Ethel Sigimanu says that our Intellectual property (IP) laws are still laws of England.
She was speaking during the opening of the building a national copyright system for Solomon Islands consultation meeting in Honiara, early this week.
Our government has done some groundwork on IP over the past seven years, PS Sigimanu said.
She added that this work entailed consultations, workshops and discussion amongst all stakeholders on the need to address intellectual property rights.
An overview assessment pertaining to whether Solomon Islands is also ready to institutionalize intellectual property rights and legislate for intellectual property locally.
“Currently our IP laws are still laws of England that is in force in our country.”
PS Sigimanu said that other commitments by the government in its quest to address IP issues have included;
· Appointment of an ambassador to the world trade Organisation
· Development of the national IP Strategy
· Formation of an IP Coordination committee, and
· Developing bill on traditional knowledge and cultural expression.
She said she is pleased to report that the recommendations by the IP strategy were endorsed by cabinet in 2018.
These recommendations provided a roadmap for the government to address IP rights here in the country.
The recommendations include the need to accede to the world intellectual property organisation convention and the BERNE convention; the need to develop a national intellectual property (IP) framework for the government and the relevant national plan; the need to set up a standalone IP office and to ensure capacity development within the Registrar general office as well for stakeholders.
The IP strategy also emphasized the need for legislative review in all IP laws to make them more update and broadly current for development changes at present.
PS Sigimanu said that these recommendations will now provided the roadmap of what the government needs, to address IP rights here in the country.
By LESLEY SANGA