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
Last page update: 25 July 2017

Current Activities

IP for SMEs

Through several projects, the IPEG has been promoting small and medium enterprise (SME) development and the commercialization of their intellectual properties.

The Philippines implemented two projects. The Workshop on Promoting Innovation through a Mechanism for IP Valuation, Financing and Leveraging was held in Manila on 14-16 June 2017. The project overseer also organized the Workshop on Best Practices on Brand Development and IP Protection for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) held in Manila on 12-14 July.

Capacity building on IP strategy for SME’s innovation is another work stream being pursued by a Mexican project overseer, where an event in Mexico City in September 2017 is being organized.

Dealing with Trademark Infringement

The IPEG is preparing to hold a series of events to assist border and other enforcement officials to better determine whether trademarks are counterfeit when undertaking border enforcement, through a project called “Trademark Infringement Determinants in a Border-Enforcement Context.” The first workshop is scheduled for August 2017, while two others may take place in 2018.


The IPEG made significant efforts to develop capacity building projects for MSMEs to aid them in acquiring the necessary IP tools for their profit and growth. This is in line with the declarations made at the 2016 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, where ministers encouraged further cooperation in the area of IP rights protection and enforcement, and in raising MSMEs’ awareness of IP commercialization. During this period, three project proposals on the matter were granted funding.

The IPEG, through proactive dialogue, developed the APEC Best Practices in Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement. The document was completed through consensus and has been endorsed.

IP in the online environment has brought to light new opportunities and challenges, which is why IPEG dedicated part of its discussions to enforcement, facilitation of rights, awareness tools, information sharing, and transparency under the digital era.

Another important part of the IPEG’s work is sharing best practices and information on regulatory updates in the region, on the development of examination tools, on activities for boosting the usage of the international IP system, on perspectives on geographical indications, as well as on genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

In addition, the IPEG pays special attention to human capital development, sharing initiatives on capacity building and technical cooperation not only for public awareness, but also for the improvement of procedures and quality of granted patents and trademark registrations.


Miguel Angel MARGÁIN (Mr)
Director General
Mexican Institute for Industrial Property
Periférico Sur # 3106, 9th Floor, Col Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico DF CP 01900
Ricardo GALLEGOS (Mr)
Head of Multilateral Affairs
Mexican Institute for Industrial Property
Jonghan PARK (Mr)
Program Director
APEC Secretariat


27 Sep 2017 Workshop 2: Promoting Innovation through a Mechanism for IP Valuation, Financing and Leveraging IP Assets (CTI 14 2016A) Manila, Philippines
13 Sep 2017 Workshop on SMEs Innovation: Capacity Building on IP Strategy (CTI 15 2016A) Mexico City, Mexico
24 Aug 2017 Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group (IPEG) - Workshop on Trademark-Infringement Determinations in a Border-Enforcement Context Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
23 Aug 2017 Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group (IPEG) – Seminar on Opportunities and Challenges to Commercializing New Plant Varieties for Developing Economies and SMEs Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
22 Aug 2017 Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group (IPEG) Meeting Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
12 Jul 2017 Workshop 1: Promoting Innovation through a Mechanism for IP Valuation, Financing and Leveraging IP Assets (CTI 14 2016A) Manila, Philippines
14 Jun 2017 Workshop on Best Practices on Brand Development and IP Protection for MSMEs (CTI 12 2016A) Manila, Philippines
18 Feb 2017 Intellectual Property Rights' Experts Group (IPEG) Nha Trang, Viet Nam