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Country’s IP laws have to be repealed to make it easier for companies to register locally

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Muaki in Fiji attending the conferrence
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The country’s current  Intellectual Property (IP)  laws, especially the Trademark Act, have to be repealed to make it easier and cheaper for companies’-SMEs’ to register locally, says Registrar of Intellectual Property in Solomon Islands Richard Muaki.

Muaki who is also the Registrar General is in Fiji attending a Regional  Heads of Intellectual Property (IP) Office Conference for Pacific Island Countries that started on Monday in Suva.

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Speaking to SBMOnline, Muaki said whilst waiting for the repealing of the act, his office can provide information on protecting unregistered trademarks.

Muaki confirmed that the Registrar’s office will request WIPO ( World Intellectual Property Organization) to provide training on branding for local entrepreneurs possibly by next year.
He stressed that in Solomon Islands IP should be  one of the most important assets of any company or  Medium to Small Business .

“An IP symbolizes innovation and creativity within the  entity.   The IP differentiate themselves from their competitors and establish their brand identity, which can lead to increased consumer recognition and loyalty,” said Muaki.

Meanwhile in Fiji, participants of the workshop include: regional heads of IP offices, entrepreneurs, representatives of small and medium enterprises, executives, heads of departments, and leaders and practitioners from the private sector and government with an interest in organizational improvement.
The theme of the conference is ‘Towards a Regional Intellectual Property (‘IP’) Strategy and Initiative for Entrepreneurs and Innovators in and from the Pacific Islands’.

Fiji Attorney-General, Siromi Turaga who opened the conference said the  initiative represented a step forward in shaping the destiny of the Pacific Islands, encouraging creativity and fostering a legacy of innovation that will benefit generations to come.
The conference sets out a  platform for IP office heads to discuss common challenges and share best practices which are (i) provide a forum for IP office leaders to discuss common challenges and share best practices; (ii) help to raise awareness of the importance of IP protection in the Pacific Islands; (iii) focus on how IP can be used to promote economic growth and protect traditional knowledge (iv) provide an opportunity for Pacific Island countries to strengthen their IP systems and promote sustainable development; and (v) help to raise awareness of the benefits of IP protection and encourage countries to strengthen their IP systems.
The conference will also include   the state of IP in the Pacific Islands and priority areas for the development, notably the use of IP for projects based on traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.

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