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Design Bill to protect business ideas


Aug 17, 2021 03:06:19 PM

Design Bill to protect business ideas The Fijian Government has introduced the Designs Bill which is intended to bring about a modern regulatory framework that encourages the development of intellectual property designs.

Standing Committee Law and Human Rights chairperson Alvick Maharaj said the Bill seeks to provide for and encourage the development of unique designs, and is not necessarily limited to traditional or indigenous designs.

“It aims to provide for the protection of designs in Fiji and makes provision for international arrangements may be a party to for the protection of registered designs in Fiji."

He said the Designs Bill will provide general provisions for any legal proceedings in relation to infringement of a right in a registered design.

“We believed that there was merit in making changes given that the provision in contention related to a serious offence,” he said.

“As such should also carry a penalty commensurate to the offence and in respect to the issue of amending the penalties relating to false representation.

“We then noted that there are similar offences in the criminal law in Fiji, which carry higher penalties like the Crimes Act 2009.

“We recommended that Clause 58(1) and (3) of the Designs Bill be amended taking into consideration penalties for similar or related offences under the Crimes Act."

He said the committee had recommended for the legislation to be reviewed periodically as the business environment relating to designs continuously changes with time and circumstance.

He said there has been intellectual property theft in the country in the last few years as the current law that protects the ideas of businesses is outdated.

Maharaj said in the last few years, people have been robbing companies of their ideas and creative expressions.

He said it has been highlighted that today, people are more clever in as far as the usage of designs are concerned using internet and the current law in Fiji that protects the use of designs is the United Kingdom Designs Protection Act of 1936.

“The Act of 1936 provides that a registered owner of design registered in the United Kingdom enjoys the same rights and privileges as those in the country,” he said.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka


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