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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

East Timor IP update

Asia's newest country, East Timor is finally moving into a new phase in that new country's development, IP Komodo observed on a trip to the capital Dili this week. Business is booming, even the Chinese are coming to invest. 

IP law development might now move forwards. Copyright is specifically referenced in the Constitution (IP Komodo wonders if they had meant intellectual property generally when they drafted it rather than only copyright).  But with no international treaty membership, it is possible that for copyright to arise there must be local creation. There is no present clarity on this.

Trademarks have for many years been protected only by cautionary notices, despite several attempts to set up quasi registries. Now the Ministry of Justice are apparently drafting a TM law, probably based on Portugal's law. Meanwhile the Ministry of Commerce is proposing to set up a registry (as its internal administrative decree specifics this role for the Ministry of Commerce).

It is the usual problem that business booms, goods and services are traded, while the government tries to catch up. But with the country stable and the economy booming, then perhaps 2014 will see IP protection arrive at last.

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