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Establishment of sui generis GI protection system explored at IP Key SEA meeting in Brunei Darussalam

Representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs and SME assistance body, Darussalam Enterprise, provided insights on the potential development of a sui generis system for protecting geographical indications (GIs) at a meeting organised by IP Key SEA and the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) in Bandar Seri Begawan on 4 March.

Opening the proceedings, Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) Head Sharinah Yusof Khan noted that the development of a sui generis GI system in Brunei Darussalam would greatly assist local producers to explore new markets.

The key benefits that a sui generis GI protection system offers producers were highlighted during the workshop, using case studies of GI products from across the region.  It was also noted that fully realising the advantages of such as system would require support from local producers and relevant government agencies.  The feasibility study being conducted by IP Key SEA will take into account these aspects.

The participants also identified local products that are potential GIs, including Madu Kelulut wild honey and Agarwood used in the manufacture of essential oils and cosmetics.

Geographical indications are signs which identify a product as originating in a particular region or locality, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. GIs are considered a useful tool for economic growth and sustainable development, particularly in rural areas. They help foster new markets by directing consumers to identify the distinct qualities of local products, ensuring certain quality standards are met by producers, and typically apply environmentally-sound practices.

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