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Workshop on the ASEAN Industrial Designs Formalities Study

Bandar Seri Begawan, 24 & 25 July 2023 – The Brunei Darussalam Intellectual Property Office ('BruIPO') and the Secretariat of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), recently collaborated with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to host the Workshop on the ASEAN Industrial Designs Formalities Study. The event, held from 24 – 25 July 2023 at the Jubilee Hall of the Law and Courts Building, brought together officers from BruIPO, practitioners from the private law firms, lecturers and students from higher learning institutions to understand the current Study and recommendations for Industrial Designs in the ASEAN Region, specifically, in relation to Deliverable 4.1 of the revised ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2016-2025 (AIPRAP 2.0), guided by WIPO.


The workshop, inaugurated by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmad bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Di-Raja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa, the Honourable Attorney General, who is also the Registrar of Trade Marks, Patents and Industrial Designs, commenced with a warm welcome to WIPO, ASEAN and all participants and expressed gratitude to WIPO and ASEAN for their collaborative efforts in organizing the event. Also present at the opening ceremony were Yang Mulia Hajah Zuraini binti Haji Sharbawi, Solicitor General, senior AGC officials and senior officials from local higher education institutions.


Distinguished speaker, Ms. Jess Honculada, a Senior Counsellor from the Department of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical, Brands and Designs Sector, WIPO shared the main premises of the Study which comprises of sixteen (16) recommendations which aim to achieve harmonization of formality requirements for design registration systems within the ASEAN region, reaching the goals of the AIPRAP 2.0. These recommendations touch on the forms, laws, procedures, fees, timelines and other relevant aspects of the formality requirements and procedures in the respective IP Offices.  Essentially, this Study will eventually harmonize business models and practices of IP offices between ASEAN Member States (AMS), offering optimum services in the ASEAN region.


Significantly, this study is centered on formality requirements for Industrial Designs, which is the content prescribed in an application for registration of an Industrial Design. To ensure the successful implementation of the sixteen recommendations, WIPO was mandated to: (i) identify areas of similarities and differences, as well as the points of convergence of formality requirements in the design registration systems of AMS, (ii) formulate recommendations for possible harmonization and further simplification of the formality requirements, and (iii) consider practices of other jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes.