Sri Lanka expects accession to Madrid Protocol for trademarks in 2018

madrid-lanka

Minister appoints Dr Swaminathan to IPACSL as Chairperson

Aug 21, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to complete its historic accession to the international trademark system called the Madrid Protocol by August next year.

Madrid Protocol accession will allow the country’s brands to register their trademarks in a single filing across multiple jurisdictions, activated simultaneously, and affords strong IP protection for Lankan brands at a global level for the first time.

Country’s Commerce Minister last week appointed new members to the Intellectual Property Advisory Commission (IPACSL) to speed up this trademark application process.

The IPACSL is the guiding mechanism advising the National Intellectual Property Office under the Minister of Industry and Commerce on matters on IP & patents and their future direction.

Dr Swaminathan, a longstanding advisor of IPACSL and an Attorney-at-Law practising in the legal profession for over 50 years has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Commission.

“We will render our best efforts clear all pending backlogs and upgrade the present legal framework in par with international standards,” Swaminathan said.

“My priority is to prepare our National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) and make it more efficient towards the adoption of Madrid Standards, in a year’s time.”

Swaminathan said earlier they planned to achieve this by the end of this year but due to the heavy load at NIPO, they are calling for a little more time.

“We are also focusing on amending the Copyright Laws so that latest digital property rights and laws are integrated,” he said.

“Sri Lanka’s digital property changes will be along the lines of the most modern digital laws in the world at this moment- the European Commission that is.”

Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that 100 million rupees has been allocated on Sri Lanka’s accession to the Madrid Protocol following a collective decision to proceed to Madrid system in 2015.

NIPO has already commenced upgrading their IP system and a complete restructuring program of NIPO is currently underway.

The IPACSL, appointed on 17 August, end its term in August 2020.