To empower local stakeholders to increase their business competitiveness through effective use of intellectual property (IP) system, the hybrid workshop on branding of mineral water industries in the country was organized recently in the country.
The workshop was jointly conducted by the Department of Intellectual Property (DoIP) under Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on October 5.
The workshop was attended by the Director General (DG) of DoIP, international experts from WIPO and Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific (RBAP). Representative from mineral water industries based in Thimphu and different district of Bhutan and officials from DoIP also attended the event.
The workshop is one of the activities from the five year project titled enabling innovation environment (EIE) –brands and designs (BD) to strengthen business competiveness through BD. It also aims to increase business competiveness through the use of brands and designs for the mineral water industries in Bhutan.
The DoIP in collaboration with the WIPO initiated a five year project way back in 2019 titled EIE – BD to strengthened business competiveness to brands and designs.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Minister for MoEA, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma and the DG of WIPO for the implementation of the project on 17 September 2019.
Under the implementation of the project, DG, Kinley T Wangchuk said that a branding bureau comprising of relevant officials from the Department of Cottage and Small Industry (DCSI) and the DoIP has established with effect from 26 April last year coinciding with the WIP day.
The branding bureau provides advisory services to the interested local businesses on branding products and services covering both IP and non-IP related branding issues.
The DG also added that one of the ongoing plans is to assist on branding for the few selected mineral water industries which is the part of five year project titled EIE – BD.
Further, the DG said that some of the ongoing and implemented activities under EIE – BD is the establishment of branding bureau and conducted national seminars and workshop with the business community on branding, capacity building and training among others.
The Deputy Chief IP officer, DoIP Binod Pradhan said, “WIPO and DoIP has discussed together and came with the conclusion that there is more scope on branding for the water industry.”
He further added that our country being very small, it is important that we think beyond Bhutan for export market where it needs good branding and certification to compete among the other similar branded products in the markets.
“In our country people commonly takes branding and trademarks as a synonym but technically it has a very different meaning,” Binod said.
Binod further said that the branding is important as trademark is just the component of branding where branding is a very broad concept where it involves trademark, industrial design and marketing strategies.
Deputy Chief IP Officer said that branding is the gut feeling of the people when they see your product where in fact it is what you have promised to the customer.