Intellectual property rights discussed

Two government ministries and Pacific regional organisations are partnering to enhance the knowledge of intellectual property rights among cultural producers in a workshop in Apia, Samoa, this week.

Creative and cultural producers are the creative source behind the invention of new songs, performances, fashion designs, crafted products and arts in Samoa and throughout the Pacific.

Piracy, unauthorised use of designs and other intellectual property infringements are significant threats to both the livelihood of individual artists and to the creative industries sector as a whole.

Creators and producers from the performing arts, craft, fashion and visual arts sectors are taking part in the Samoa Creative and Cultural Industries Training: Intellectual Property Rights and Protection training, held as part of the European Union-ACP funded ‘Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands’ Project.

The workshop is being co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Samoa Arts Council.

 “The training’s aim is to enhance the understanding of intellectual property rights and laws in Samoa so that creative and cultural producers can better protect themselves against infringement,” the Deputy-Director of S.P.C’s Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara said.

 “The training will address specific issues within intellectual property rights, including providing guidance to creative and cultural producers on the processes of copyrights and trademarks.”

Guest speakers include representatives of relevant government agencies, such as the newly-established National Prosecution Office, Ministry of Police and Ministry for Revenue and Customs, alongside S.P.C’s Intellectual Property Consultant, Pita K Niubalavu.

Speakers have also been invited from the business community who have established themselves in the cultural industries.

The regional project – a partnership between S.P.C, P.I.F.S, the European Union, Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands – recognises the contribution of cultural industries to Pacific economies and works to strengthen their position in the economy. 

In January, the project supported Samoa’s Plantation House to showcase its homewares at NY NOW, an international trade show in New York.

The project is made possible with financial support of the European Union and the assistance of the ACP (Africa Caribbean Pacific) Group of States.


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