Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group

Intellectual property rights protection and enforcement is a key factor for promoting foreign trade and investment, as well as for boosting economic development.

In recognition of its importance, intellectual property rights was included in the 1995 Osaka Action Agenda—APEC's strategic roadmap for achieving free and open trade and investment in the region.

In 1996, the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) established an Intellectual Property Rights Get-Together (IPR-GT). The aim was to ensure the adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights in the Asia-Pacific region through legislative, administrative and enforcement mechanisms based on the principles of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) and other related agreements. In 1997, the CTI made the IPR-GT an official APEC group with an explicit terms of reference, and renamed it the Intellectual Property Rights Experts' Group (IPEG).

The IPEG implements a work program that aims to:

  • Deepen the dialogue on intellectual property policy
  • Survey and exchange information on the current status of intellectual property rights protection and administrative systems
  • Study measures for the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Fully implement the TRIPS Agreement
  • Facilitate technical cooperation to help economies implement TRIPS

The IPEG meets two times every year in the margins of the first and third Senior Official Meeting (SOM1 and SOM3) and reports to the Committee of Trade and Investment.

Last page update:June 2020

Current Activities

Survey on the Treatment of Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs) under Domestic Law (project IPEG 01 2020S)

The United States will conduct a survey on treatment of, and approaches to, illicit streaming devices (ISDs) under domestic laws or regulations. Results will be used to establish a baseline of information on how such devices are dealt with in the APEC region and inform future IPEG work, including the possible adoption of a best practices document or to build capacity of relevant officials.

Initiative on Industrial Design Protections (project IPEG 02 2020S)   

The United States proposes two one-day workshops to promote the development of modern design protections throughout the APEC region, the first in Penang on the margins of the SOM3 IPEG meetings and the second in New Zealand on the margins of the SOM1 IPEG meetings. A final half-day workshop will be held in New Zealand on the margins of the SOM3 IPEG meetings. As industrial design protection increasingly becomes a competitive advantage for enterprises in the APEC region, these workshops will help promote the APEC 2020 theme of “Optimizing Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity.”

Past IPEG projects can be accessed through the APEC Project Database.

2020 IPEG meetings

The last IPEG meeting was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, in February 2020.  IPEG dialogue is targeted towards information-sharing, project delivery aimed at capacity building, and related initiatives and projects, such as the development of best practices.

In this meeting, IPEG recognized the importance of advancing the Bogor Goals, and that APEC’s post-2020 work will inform that of the IPEG. It acknowledged the Osaka Agenda as an important framework to guide existing work. The group’s members shared their respective best practices and experiences on IP within the Asia-Pacific region to increase efforts towards this shared commitment.

The IPEG also recognized the importance of supporting trade facilitation and connectivity, particularly through substantive regulatory work to provide greater access to and ease of acquiring IP rights within APEC Member Economies’ IP systems.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) attended this meeting and actively engaged with IPEG members.

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Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group

IPEG devoted significant efforts to develop capacity building projects for MSMEs to acquire the necessary IP tools for their profit and growth.