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

The IPEG implements a work program which aims to:

  • Deepen the dialogue on intellectual property policy.
  • Survey and exchange information on the current status of IPR protection and administrative systems.
  • Study measures for the effective enforcement of IPR.
  • Fully implement the TRIPS Agreement.
  • Facilitate technical cooperation to help economies implement TRIPS
Last page update: 31 October 2016

Current Activities

Guidebook for SMEs’ IP-Business Cycle

The “Guidebook for SMEs’ IP-business Cycle” guidebook is a compilation of advanced IP business support policies that have been proven effective in APEC and non-APEC economies.  The guidebook is an output of the “Initiative to Facilitate the Exploitation of IPRs and Innovation in SMEs”, which is proposed by Korea and Mexico.

The project aims to conduct surveys and analyze the elements of the IP support programs of governments. The Guidebook is expected to support SME entrepreneurs and government officials throughout APEC.  It also aims to provide SMEs with comprehensive reference materials on IP commercialization in order to help them convert their innovations into IPRs and contribute to their respective economies.

Projects to Build IP Capacity of SMEs

IPE0047 is preparing to implement three additional projects related to modernizing SMEs. These are:  “SME’s Innovation : Capacity Building on IP Strategy”; “Promoting Innovation through a Mechanism for IP Valuation, Financing and Leveraging IP Assets”; and “Best Practices on Brand Development and IP Protection for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)”.


IPEG devoted significant efforts to develop capacity building projects for MSMEs to acquire 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.

IPEG continued its proactive dialogue on developing the APEC Best Practices in Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement and completing it on the basis of consensus. Thanks to the efforts by all economies and continuous communication at all levels, the document was endorsed.

IPEG has also been working on different elemental axis for intellectual property issues. 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 line of work is the sharing of best practices and information on regulatory updates in the region, development of examination tools, activities for boosting the usage of the international IP system, perspectives on geographical indications, as well as in genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

In addition, IPEG paid 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