Many Caribbean businesses not protecting their intellectual property

Friday, September 07, 2018

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Several Jamaican agencies have joined forces in an effort to build awareness of the importance of identification and protection of a company's intellectual property.

Jampro, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) hosted the 'National Capacity Building Workshop on the Protection of Intellectual Property for Small & Medium Sized Enterprises' on Wednesday at Jampro's Business Auditorium in Kingston.

The seminar was hosted by the partners to facilitate export development and promotion, as CEDA has identified intellectual property (IP) as an increasingly important element of trade. The partners say that businesses will reap greater benefits when exporting if they consider the full range of IP issues in new product development.

Jampro's Vice-President of Sales and Promotions Claude Duncan opened the event by saying, “This workshop is timely given the lack of an updated legislation and the enforcement of laws being major issues [for intellectual property]. Many businesses in the Caribbean do not register their trademarks or other IP, citing lack of awareness of what is necessary, the difficulty of the process and/or the cost associated with the registration.”

Duncan said that intellectual property protection is critical to fostering innovation, and that the workshop was necessary to build knowledge of IP in the Jamaican business community.

The full day workshop focused on intellectual property rights and their role in brand development.

JIPO also gave an overview of Jamaica's IP framework and the use of intellectual property by SMEs.

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