Inte​llectual Property Policy Launched in Bhutan

“Intellectual property (IP) has become a matter of international importance and features prominently in regional and global trade treaties,” Lyonpo said.

Inte​llectual Property Policy Launched in Bhutan. (Source:


By Kinley Yonten | The Bhutanese


The Minister of Economic Affairs (MoEA) Lyonpo Lekey Dorji launched the National Intellectual Property Policy (NIPP) 2018 on March 23. Works on the formulation of the policy were initiated in 2015 to assess its impact and benefits.

“The officials of the Department of Intellectual Property have been working on this policy for years and the policy brings predictability and the way forward in this important but misunderstood area,” said the minister.

“Intellectual property (IP) has become a matter of international importance and features prominently in regional and global trade treaties,” Lyonpo said.

He added that understanding these complexities and its importance to industrial growth and economy, the erstwhile Division of Intellectual Property was upgraded to a full-fledged department a year ago.

The vital role that intellectual property plays

“There are ongoing debates on the protection and exploitation of biodiversity resources, on the development and transfer of environmental-friendly technology, on the protection of traditional knowledge, folklore and indigenous culture and on other aspects of socio-economic and cultural development, where intellectual property plays a vital role,” Lyonpo said.

In addition, Lyonpo explained that IP would help Bhutan to preserve its unique identity which are its culture, traditions, art and craft, architecture, technological innovations and unique way of life.

The IP policy will allow amendments of existing legislations such as the Copyright law and Industrial Property law to fit the changing times.

More than just to protect intellectual properties, Lyonpo said that the policy is to promote innovation and creativity to improve the economic, social, cultural and technological well-being of the country.

The policy is designed to establish institutional frameworks for a more balanced development using the IP system to increase Bhutan’s IP assets, promote the transfer of technology and to spur innovation and creativity.

“I would also like to urge all agencies who are the custodians of our art and craft, our architecture, our traditional medicines, our living culture, and our way of life to make use of the IP knowledge to preserve and protect our own IP assets before it is too late,” Lyonpo added.

Innovation and its role in Bhutan

Director General Kinley Wangchuk said that with the increase in the number of industries in the last few decades along with the growth in products and services in the market, innovation and creativity has played an important role in the expansion and growth of industries and businesses in Bhutan.

“Today, businesses are venturing into innovative ways of producing and manufacturing of products and services, and its delivery to consumers. To empower the industry in harnessing long-term benefits from their innovation, there is an urgency to provide greater protection and promotion of their intellectual property rights. These are important measures to build the confidence of the industry to continue investment in innovation in order to add new products and services to the market,” he said.

Wangchuk also said that the policy envisages to bring about changes in a number of areas such as legislative frameworks on the protection of intellectual property rights and the collaboration between the industry and R&D institutions.

The framing of appropriate protection regimes for traditional knowledge, cultural expressions and genetic resources that concern indigenous communities are also being taken into account.

The policies will enhance greater participation at the multi-lateral level to preserve Bhutan’s interests on intellectual property.  It will empower industries and businesses to enjoy long term benefits of their innovation.


This article first appeared in The Bhutanese and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.


Related Posts

Entrepreneurship Course Equips Youth with Business Skills

More than 30 out of school youths are learning how to make banana bread, chips, fruit wine and cardamom tea at a basic...

Oct 15, 2017 15:21

Trongsa to get its First Business Incubation Centre

A business incubation centre will be set up in Tangsibji Gewog in Trongsa. The centre, a first of its kind in the...

Oct 22, 2017 11:30

Techstars Startup Weekend Bhutan (Eco-Tourism): 54 Hours where...

The eventful weekend saw 130 keen people in attendance, of which 56 pitched ideas. This was the fifth time that such an...

Nov 29, 2017 08:46

Start-ups in Bhutan Will Benefit with More Funding

“However, in Bhutan most start-ups can’t do much marketing because of financial constraints.”

Apr 07, 2018 18:00

Top Five Business Ideas Bag Grants at National Start-up Weekend

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said during the prize awarding ceremony that although the government has been promoting...

Mar 20, 2018 22:53

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the...

Mar 17, 2018 12:05



Bhutan’s Satellite Deployed From ISS Along With Limited Edition Stamps Launched To Laud Event

Live-streamed on YouTube, representatives from various countries and institutes gathered at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in...

Aug 11, 2018 16:08

Daily Professional Fee Proposed For Tour Guides To Boost Tourism In Bhutan

Such an initiative is also thought to help boost the image of the profession in Bhutan and retain senior tour guides.

Aug 10, 2018 12:09


In Commemoration Of World Elephant Day, Bhutan Records 678 Elephants, Up From 513 In 2011

There are 678 elephants in Bhutan, according to the second edition of the National Elephant Survey Report.

Aug 15, 2018 12:54

Discover Raju’s Passion For Making The Traditional Bhutanese Bow And Arrow

The class VI drop-out earns at least Nu 8,000 a month by making bows and arrows.

Aug 08, 2018 16:09


The Myriad Of Sporting Facilities Constructed In Bhutan To Promote Healthy Living

The government in its 11th FYP report stated that it undertook the development of various infrastructure and institutions to promote sports...

Jul 29, 2018 08:33

Adolescent Girls In Bhutan Learn About Health And Sanitation Through Weeklong District Cricket Championship

The national nutrition survey 2015 conducted by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF Bhutan found anaemia in adolescent girls to be a critical...

Jul 21, 2018 16:29


Start-up Centre In Bhutan Held Session To Provide Advice On Doing Business For Entrepreneurs

Guidance was provided during the first session on starting a business held at the newly established start-up centre at Changzamtog, Thimphu.

Aug 14, 2018 12:06

SDF To Develop E-Commerce Platform And Support Start-Ups In The South Asian Region

The SDF has already achieved and disbursed US$ 47mn for 12 cross-border projects.

Jul 24, 2018 09:03


About 91 % Of International Visitors Intend To Revisit Bhutan And 85 % Want To Recommend Nation Of Happiness To Others

The majority (80.4 %) of the international visitors expressed that the culture and traditional charm attracted them to Bhutan.

Aug 13, 2018 12:11

DrukAir To Fly Between Bhutan And Singapore Via Guwahati Starting Sept 1

The new flight will connect Paro to Singapore via Guwahati.

Aug 09, 2018 10:37


Gokab – The First Dance Studio To Be Registered In Bhutan For Dancing Enthusiasts

Gokab, a youth group comprising of mostly dance enthusiasts, has seen a healthy growth of membership numbers since its inception in 2015.

Aug 12, 2018 15:44

Red Rice Is Bhutan's Staple Food And This Brewery Has Turned It Into Its Flagship Beer

Namgay Artisanal Brewery is the new kid on the block and it’s got everyone talking about its red rice lager.

Aug 03, 2018 14:04

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!