NEWS

A-G Closes Conference Highlighting Fiji Trademarks, Rights During Covid-Era

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum pointed out the importance of Fijians keeping the ownership of the name and brand Fiji.
06 Dec 2020 10:34
A-G Closes Conference Highlighting Fiji Trademarks, Rights During Covid-Era
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (left), with New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr (right), and his wife Fololeni Curr at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa on December 4, 2020. Photo: DEPTFO News

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum rounded up the 22nd Attorney-General’s conference by pointing out some key issues ranging from intellectual property rights to carbon trading and how lawyers can prepare for the changing dynamics.

Intellectual property rights:

Two of the most popular brands which has Fiji in its name had not registered the trademark in Fiji, but had done it overseas. FIJI Water was registered in the United States of America, while Pure Fiji was registered in the United Kingdom before it was done here in Fiji.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum pointed out the importance of Fijians keeping the ownership of the name and brand Fiji.

He explained that there was an emerging market for turmeric and even ginger. So, instead of one company registering Fiji Ginger as their trademark, it was important that the Fijian Government hold that trademark and allow any Fijian company which meets all requirements to use that brand, for example, Fiji Ginger.

Similarly, he talked in depth about trademarking indigenous intellectual properties such as masi and the issues surrounding it. For example, could one province trademark masi? Could one person from a province trademark a masi designed in a certain way?

In Fiji, indigenous knowledge is not written. So the documentary evidence is a lot harder to obtain, or to track.

Government will be presenting a Bill – the Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expression Bill. Three Bills will be presented in Parliament and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum urged lawyers and people to make submissions when public submissions are called.

COVID-19 and Rights of people:

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted the two sides of the same Right. In this case, he pointed out that if Government does not contain coronavirus or does not put in place measures to contain the pandemic, people could also claim that their rights were being infringed upon because the virus was not being contained.

“Everybody has a right to economic participation,” he said.

He pointed out that a lot more people could stand to lose their jobs if Government does not put in measures to contain coronavirus which would then again breach people’s rights.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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