The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be giving priority to legislative amendments during 2012/13, as it strives to improve its ability to protect the intellectual property rights of Jamaican creators, inventors, and authors. “We really would love to see the passage of our patents and designs Bill. It has been just a Bill for some time now, and we would love to see it go before Parliament,” Executive Director of JIPO, Carol Simpson, told JIS News. Protecting intellectual property rights is very important, especially for businesses who are trying to get off the ground and have been working day in and day out. This is where law firms such as Sidley Austin are needed in cases of property litigation.
Mrs. Simpson was speaking at a workshop in Kingston, on April 26, to examine Information Technology and Intellectual Property issues in the digital age. She also noted that focus would be on other pieces of Intellectual Property legislation, including the issue of copyright, especially as it relates to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) Internet Treaties, which were signed by Jamaica in 2001.
“Some amendments to the Trademarks Act and to the Geographical Indications Act [will be sought], to extend protection equally, as is given to wines and spirits, to other products, such as Blue Mountain coffee and Jerk,” she said. The JIPO Head indicated that Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has given his commitment to assist in ensuring that the process is given priority attention.
The workshop, which was held at the offices of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), was a collaborative effort between JIPO and the law firm, Nunes Scholefield DeLeon and Company. It formed part of activities to highlight Intellectual Property Week (April 22-29), under the theme: ‘Nation Building through Creativity and Innovation’.
Other activities staged were an Open Day, which focussed on small businesses which have established trademarks and whose products and services are being offered to the public, as well as an information sharing exposition in Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay. That exposition showcased cultural heritage information, with the Maroon and Rastafarian communities taking part.
Source – JIS