If you're thinking about selling your product in Papua New
Guinea (PNG), then you should consider
intellectual property (IP) protection. Although
PNG represents a small market in comparison to Australia, IP
protection offers a number of benefits, including acting as a
deterrent for would-be infringers.
IP laws in PNG are similar to legislation in countries like
Australia and New Zealand. Some legislation, such as the Trade
Marks Act 1978, was adopted directly from Australia.
The three main pieces of legislation involving IP in PNG
Trade Marks Act 1978;
Patents and Industrial Designs Act 2000; and
Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2000.
The Intellectual Property
Office of Papua New Guinea (IPOPNG) controls
the registration of patents, trade marks and designs. Currently,
all applications need to be filed at the IPOPNG office in Port
Moresby. IPOPNG is in the process of establishing an electronic
registry. When complete, the electronic registry will allow not
only electronic filing, but also trade mark and patent
Registration of Trade Marks
10 years | Renewable
The application fee to register a trade mark or series of trade
marks for goods/services in a prescribed class is PGK250.00
(approximately AUD$105). For each additional class the prescribed
fee is PGK200 (approximately AUD$85). Schedule 4 of the Trade Marks
Regulations 1979 provides a complete list of the prescribed
An application for registration of a trade mark must be made in
the prescribed form (i.e. Form 4). Form 4 must be filed at the
IPOPNG and the prescribed fee(s) must be paid at the time of
submitting the application(s).
Registration of Patents
20 years | Non-renewable
The prescribed fee is PGK1000 (approximately AUD$420). If the
application includes an amino acid sequence or a nucleotide
sequence filed on a compact disc or by other electronic then the
prescribed fee is PGK1500 (approximately AUD$575). Schedule 1 of
the Patents and Industrial Designs Regulation 2002 provides a
complete list of the prescribed fees.
The process starts by making an application for registration of
Application for a Patent Lodgement and paying the prescribed
fee(s). Annual fees are required to be paid for the duration of the
Registration of Industrial design
5 years | Renewable for two further consecutive periods of 5
The prescribed fee for the application is PGK300 (approximately
AUD$120). Schedule 1 of the Patents and Industrial Designs
Regulation 2002 provides a complete list of the prescribed
An application for registration of industrial design must be
made in the prescribed form (i.e. Form 5). At the time of lodgement
the prescribed fee must be paid. Renewal fees are required to be
paid if being renewed.
Enforcement of IP rights
IP rights are private rights and are normally enforced by the IP
owner against the infringer. The PNG courts have the power to make
a range of orders including interim injunctions, provisional
seizure orders or an award for compensatory damages.
In addition, the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation
(Ch.101) deals with the importation of goods that infringe upon IP
rights. When PNG customs detects items that infringe upon IP
rights, they are able to stop the clearance of the goods and detain
them. The suspension and detention lasts up to 10 working days,
during which time the IP owner is required to commence legal
proceedings against the importer for breach of intellectual
property rights. The IP owner is also required to request the court
to impose a provisional seizure order for the goods to be further
detained by customs.
How Rockwell Olivier can help you in PNG
Rockwell Olivier assists our clients by:
conducting relevant IP searches;
preparation and lodgement of any relevant application
following the application process to the end.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
As a licensor or a licensee, here are some tips you should consider when negotiating your next licence agreement.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).