SME group to protect local designs


THE Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation (Smec) has embarked on working with relevant agencies to protect traditional Papua New Guinea designs from being stolen, printed overseas and sold back to the country.
Managing director Steven Maken said there was an emergence of PNG designs reprinted on cheap counterfeit products and sold in the country.
Smec is working with PNG Customs, Investment Promotion Authority and the Independent Consumer and Competitions Commission (ICCC) to protect what was traditionally PNG’s.
Traditional designs, bilums and meri blouses were among items mimicked and sold in foreign owned shops in the country.
Customs Chief Commissioner Ray Paul urged the Bilum Export Promotion Authority to come forward and register their products under Investment Promotion Authority’s (IPA) Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and also with Customs under the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
Paul said authorities had to be made aware of their products so they could keep an eye out for them.
“Register their product, the designs and patterns with the IPR team, so that our team can be able to profile the bilum,” he said.
“This is the same principle that we use with the other goods. We don’t have time to go through container by container to check. “
Commissioner and chief executive officer of Independent Consumer and Competition Commission said it had met with other line agencies last week to see which relevant acts could enforce this.
“This was decided to be IPA under the Intellectual Property Act,” he said.
“Relevant provisions from this will be used to address this to stop foreign companies from manufacturing bilums and meri blouses.”

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