Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is one of APEC's 21 members which collectively aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

APEC’s Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group (IPEG) works to ensure the adequate and effective protection of intellectual property (IP) 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 (TRIPS Agreement). Topics of discussion include enhanced IP policies, new technologies, grace periods, international IP dispute resolution, IP enforcement, and commercialization and securitization of IP assets. Capacity-building programs are an important part of IPEG’s work. An example of this is a recent initiative undertaken by the USPTO in collaboration with IPEG, which offered officials of APEC member states a series of industrial design seminars focused on the modernization of industrial design rights.