Philippines, Mexico sign Memorandum of Understanding to enhance intellectual property cooperation (Philippines News Agency)

Representatives of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Mexican Institute of the Industrial Property (IMPI) on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance cooperation in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights through joint activities.

Deputy Director General of the IPOPHL Allan Gepty signed for the Philippines and IMPI Director General Miguel Angel Margain signed for Mexico.

The MOU was inked at the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Intellectual Property Experts Group (IPEG) Meeting in Cebu City.

Considered a milestone in the intellectual property (IP) development of both countries, the MOU hopes to extend the cooperation activities, specifically those concerning the protection, use, and enforcement of the intellectual property rights, through the joint organization of symposia, seminars and workshops and other capacity-building activities, included in the corresponding Work Project.

Both parties have also agreed to extend the validity of the MOU for another three years, and renew it further through a written agreement by both countries.

Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Julio Camarena VillaseAor, who witnessed the signing of the MOU, said the agreement comes at an auspicious time as Mexican President Enrique PeAa Nieto is set to make a state visit to the country on November 17.

The agreement will be included in the set of deliverables as both countries intend to strengthen their cooperation and bilateral ties.

Both parties hoped that aside from enhancing and promoting trade and investment between them, the agreement would also revitalize their economic partnership that began during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade from 1565 to 1815, which spurred global trade.

Also present during the signing ceremony was Mexican Consul General Eduardo Gonzales.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement is a key factor in promoting foreign trade and investment, as well as in boosting economic development.

In recognition of its importance, IPR was included in the 1995 Osaka Action Agenda — APEC’s strategic roadmap for achieving free and open trade and investment in the region.

In 1996, the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) established an Intellectual Property Rights Get-Together (IPR-GT) aimed at ensuring adequate and effective protection, through legislative, administrative and enforcement mechanisms, of intellectual property rights in the Asia-Pacific region.

This was based on the principles of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and other related agreements.

In 1997, the CTI made the IPR-GT an official APEC group, renaming it the Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group (IPEG).

Senior officials and delegates from the APEC’s 21 member economies are meeting in Cebu on August 22 to September 6 for the third APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 3) and Related Meetings.

The SOM 3, with some 2,000 participants, is the last comprehensive senior officials’ meeting before the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November in Manila. (PNA)