NICCI urges the Government to bring IPR law with relevance to the present context


Kathmandu, Aug 19. Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI) urges the Government to bring IPR law with relevance to the present context and international practices.

NICCI organized an Interactive Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights, A key constraint for FDI Inflows to Nepal on 177th August 2022 in Kathmandu.

Officiating President of NICCI Mr. Sunil KC highlighted the importance of IPR in present context as we have not been able to secure inflows of FDIs as well as promoting our Nepalese brand in our own domestic market as well in an International market which we need to focus when we are seeking FDIs at large. Mr. KC further added that IPR is a broad terminology, that also includes Trade Marks, Patent, Copyright, and many other technical aspects, but we are missing benefits due to poor legal provisions based on 55+ years old Act and Regulations and because of our existing IPR rules, which are not at par with WTO norms and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) standard –has hunted the potential FDI into Nepal, we should understand that the foreign investors who plan to extend their investments in Nepal also want their brands, trademarks patents are secured and Government should think from that angle also so as to bring more FDIs into Nepal and on the other hand, our own Nepalese Investors are also having problems even in the domestic marked due to poor IPR Policy and related acts and lack of appropriate law and due to that also obstructed the local brand, trade mark in expanding market of Nepalese products in the domestic and international market as well.

Vice President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Mr. Krishna Prasad Adhikari added that we have not been able to sort out the issues related to IPR as the law could not be updated as per the present international practices while addressing the program that even though we have an IPR Law. Another point Mr. Adhikari mentioned while addressing the seminar was that though the IPR and interrelated topics like Copy Right, Patent Design, and Trade Mark have already been mentioned in the constitution due to lack of public awareness and lack of related laws this important issue has been in shadow which needs to be considered as the first most important condition of the investors and if we could be able to develop IPR as Pre-condition for the of the investors then it would ease promotion of Technology Transfer, Investment in Infrastructure and SME sector and in present time though many foreign investors have shown interest to invest in Nepal they have not been able to come and invest due to lack of IPR related strong law so Mr. Adhikari requested Government to bring strong and updated and IPR law at par international practices from the fast track.

Senior Vice President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) Mr. Chandra Dhakal also highlighted the need for appropriate IPR law. Mr. Dhakal further added that due to the lack of IPR Law Foreign investments are not coming as expected even though we have huge potential and opportunities for foreign investors to invest. Mr. Dhakal also urged the government to share the recently drafted IPR bill with Private Sector stakeholders and consult with them also. The draft should be investment-friendly so that the foreign investments could flow into Nepal and it would only be successful once it is consulted and shared with concerned stakeholders and that will be more effective and fruitful and supportive for the economic development of the country.

Mr. Rajendra Mall, President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) emphasized the need for an export-oriented policy to be brought by the government to minimize the trade deficit, and for that government should work closely with the private sector representatives. When we are talking about the IPR it is not only the issue of bi-national or multinational companies, it is also the issue of our own Nepalese companies also. Due to lack of proper effective law, many of our brands have been affected badly in their export so these also need to be looked into and requested minister for that.

On the program Senior Advocate and IPR Expert, Mr. Sajjan bar Singh Thapa informed us that the IPR Law we have in the country is 57 years old and has not been updated or amended for the last 16 years. 57 years old Law con does not cover the issues and changes that took place in IPR law so that needs to be amended in our law at par with international norms and practices. Mr. Thapa further added that due to the lack of seriousness of concerned judiciary and bureaucrats towards the importance of IPR issues, this has always been a big problem for investors in the country.

In the Seminar, presenting the presentation from a Bi-national Industry perspective, Mr. Ravi Kumar Rayavaram, MD, of Surya Nepal Pvt. Ltd. added that Now in this 21st century where digitization has taken place in every sector the IPR issue has been one of the major for the investors to protect their intellectual property.

Mr. Rayavaram further added that today though the 1/3 of world’s total economy is based on intellectual property, IPR-related law is really very weak in Nepal. It is surprising to see that the foreign prestigious and well-established brands have been registered here by some other local companies and earning and due to that also International brands and companies have not been able to come and invest in Nepal due to the weak IPR law in Nepal.

Mr. Amirn Pratap Rana, CMD of  Kiran Shoes Manufacturer, a manufacturer of Goldstar Shoes, also shared his experience that how his company has been facing problems due to a lack of poor IPR law in the country. Their brands have been used by other local as well as foreign companies and they have been filing cases in both Nepal as well as outside out side Nepal so as to protect their brand and IPR. Mr. Rana further said that Government should see such issues and bring proper effective and strong IPR law and need to have strong provisions for compensation to be made to victims also.

Chief Guest Minister of Industry Hon’ble Dilendra Prasad Badu has reiterated the government’s commitment to the protection of IPR to promote brands and investors and also to motivate creative individuals and intellectuals for their intellectual property. Minister Badu further assured the participants that the drafted bill which is currently submitted to the Ministry of Law, Government of Nepal will be shared and consulted with Private Sector stakeholders as well as take a necessary decisions for the promotion of Investments and also to bring more FDIs into Nepal.

Giving the Vote of Thanks, Vice President of NICCI Mr. Harkirat Singh Bedi also added that the IPR issue is the issue of all in the present digital age and really very important one as it directs the investment flow in the country. Nepal is a most opportune destination for foreign investment we all should think about why the FDI is not coming as we had expected and requested Government also to think on this seriously on IPR.

In the Seminar Former Industry Secretary Mr. Krishna Gyawali, IPR Expert Mr. Rajkumar Suwal, Director at Department of Industry Mr. Suresh Raj Joshi, Chartered Accountant Mr. Kaushlendra Jha, Dr. Dev Bhakta Shakya, Ms. Sushama Sharma had also expressed their experience on IPR and related issues.