Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D25

22 May 1995

APEC SEMINAR ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

The inaugural APEC meeting on intellectual property rights has recommended the establishment of an ad hoc Working Group within APEC to advance regional cooperation on the issue.

More than 90 intellectual property experts from the APEC region met in Sydney last week (Sheraton-on-the-Park Hotel from 17-19 May) to discuss their obligations under the World Trade Orgganisation's Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Participants at the seminar, which was the first under the APEC umbrella, included Government and non-Government officials from many APEC economies and representatives from the World Customs Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the WTO.

Seminar participants agreed that a recommendation establishing an ad hoc Working Group should be put to the next meeting of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment scheduled for Sapporo in July. The ad hoc Working Group would explore the potential for technical and education cooperation and assistance on implementation of intellectual property rights in APEC.

There was also agreement that APEC members consider establishing a mechanism to ensure a better flow of information on intellectual property rights, particularly on the TRIPS Agreement.

The Committee for Trade and Investment presently supervises a diverse work program on areas including harmonisation of customs procedures and regulations, more uniform investment regimes and more common approaches to standards-setting in various sectors.

Participants at the Sydney seminar acknowledged the importance of adequate intellectual property protection. They focussed in particular on cooperative measures as the most appropriate means to ensuring a more effective regional intellectual property infrastructure.

For further information:

Ms Lenore Neal (Intellectual Property and Investment Section) on 261 2470

Mr Christopher Langman (APEC Trade and Investment Section) on 261 2437