10 – point Action Plan to boost Intellectual Property benefits in Sri Lanka

(Daily ft – May 12, 2014)

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha  has said a ’10-point Action Plan’ between the Government of Sri Lanka and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that would benefit a cross section of sectors dealing with intellectual property in the country has become operational.

Ambassador Aryasinha made this observation when he addressed the 53rd Session of WIPO Assemblies, held at in Geneva from 8-9 May to ratify the election of Dr. Francis Gurry for a second term as Director General of the WIPO.

The Ambassador said Sri Lanka particularly appreciates Dr. Gurry’s visit to Sri Lanka in November 2013, which opened a new chapter in cooperation in the intellectual property field in Sri Lanka and during which the ’10-point Action Plan’ was first proposed.

Dr. Gurry also had the opportunity to honour the memory of late Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was the first Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in WIPO, by delivering the ‘Kadirgamar Memorial Oration 2013’.

Ambassador Aryasinha said this time-bound action plan would enhance the capacity of the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) and other stake holders in the country and assist Sri Lanka in strengthening its IP protection regime, especially that of innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and practitioners of traditional arts and crafts.

Under the plan, WIPO will be providing technical assistance to Sri Lanka in 10 main areas – establishment of the Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC), integrating IP into national innovation policy formulation, product branding, accession to WIPO treaties, protection of traditional knowledge, strengthening of Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), conducting a study on creative industries, building respect for IP and assisting Sri Lanka’s participation in WIPO Green and WIPO Re: Search programs.

The Ambassador said this collaboration between the Sri Lankan Government and WIPO could serve as a useful model for developing countries, in upgrading their intellectual property protection regimes and to deliver the benefits of IPR to a broader spectrum of stakeholders.