Solomons look to modernise intellectual property rights law
The Solomon Islands government says there is an urgent need to protect the country's culture, traditional knowledge and practises from exploitation in the internet age.
The Solomon Islands government says there is an urgent need to protect the country's culture, traditional knowledge and practices from exploitation in the internet age.
The Ministries of Justice, Tourism and Foreign Affairs are working with a representative from the World Intellectual Property Organisation in a push to date the country's protection laws.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, Freddy Me'esa, spoke to Koroi Hawkins.
FREDDY MEESA: Especially to update our intellectual property laws were almost outdated because the ones that we were using were dated back to, to the colonial era. And they are not sort of updated to the current situation of Solomon Islands.
KOROI HAWKINS: Why is this important for Solomon Islands in the cultural and also maybe even the technical instance?
FM: It is very important because the overall strategic objective of that intellectual property rights strategy for Solomon Islands is to create, protect, manage and use intellectual property as a strategic tool for the economic social, cultural and technological development of Solomon Islands. We have some traditional artifacts or even songs music and dances, but they are not protected under these laws, because if we have to protect them we have to design or contextualise those laws in relevance to Solomon Islands. This is not so as I said earlier on most of the intellectual property legislations that we have were dated back to the colonial era.
KH: And so at this stage how close are you to implementing or turning this law into a bill or to be putting it before parliament?
FM: I think that is a very, a very important question. In the past we have this, successive governments have something under the ministry of Justice and legal affairs. But we must thank this Democratic Coalition for Change government under the prime ministership of Sogavare, that they design a policy which is to strengthen the National Judicial and legal system and apparatus in the country. What this means is that we will have more political will to drive these amendments or implementation of the strategic actions. Now with this strategic report, once it is completed it will be presented to the government of Solomon Islands but our target is to. We want to join WIPO convention for full participation in the WIPO activities. We want to join the Berne Convention for protection of copyrights and related rights. Also we want to join the Paris Convention for the protection of the industrial properties patents and industrial designs. And also we would like to join the international union for the protection of new varieties of plants. Now these ones are very important organisations or treaties or agreements that we would like to join hopefully this year. All of them we would like to try and if we can join them this year because they are very helpful for Solomon Islands as well.
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