Chairs Programme supports intellectual property workshop in Mauritius

Mauritius - 5 March 2014

With the financial support of the WTO Chairs Programme, a workshop on the WTO’s TRIPS (intellectual property) Agreement and IP-related matters was held in Balaclava, Mauritius, on 5-7 March 2014.

The workshop was organized through the University of Mauritius with the assistance of the Intellectual Property Division of the WTO in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV) and the government of Mauritius. The Mauritius Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, Arvin Boolell, and the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius opened the meeting, thanking the WTO for the support provided through the WTO Chairs Programme and for organizing the workshop.

At the opening ceremony, Mr Boolell said that “an Intellectual Property (IP) Council is to be established to bring together all the various institutions dealing with IP for a more coherent and coordinated approach, and provide guidance in the design and implementation of IP policies”. He also said that his Ministry is working on a new IP policy that would attempt to mainstream intellectual property into the economic and social development of Mauritius and to further promote innovation and creativity through a more holistic approach to intellectual property matters.

Since the workshop, both WIPO and UPOV have already received from the Mauritian authorities revised legislative drafts that were discussed in the workshop.

Through the in-depth technical know-how provided by WIPO and the expertise of UPOV in the specific area of plant variety protection, the workshop provided technical assistance that was of immediate practical benefit to national policy makers and which does not duplicate assistance provided from other sources. The flexible structure of the workshop allowed it to respond to the priorities identified in planning and delivering the programme. It also benefited from the depth and breadth of expertise provided by the participants.

The workshop highlights the important coordinating role the WTO can play in the provision of legislative advice by WIPO and UPOV in addition to providing technical assistance on TRIPS-related matters so that the interest in undertaking legislative reform does not lose momentum.