JIS News

As the pandemic continues to offer new opportunities for the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) online, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, is calling on creatives to take the necessary steps to protect their intellectual property (IP).

Speaking at an online webinar to recognise World Intellectual Property Day in Jamaica on Monday (April 26), Dr. Dunn said the world is now the stage for Jamaica’s MSMEs to compete and grow, and in doing so, they should also protect their intellectual property.

“Jamaica is not just our stage but the world is our stage, and, therefore, if the world is our stage… then you can imagine the importance of IP at this stage,” he argued.

“We have to ensure that brand Jamaica is protected and that for markets that are far from ours, when persons hear about Jamaica then they know about the products. The products are authentic, our artistes are authentic, because they have been registered and their IP is protected,” Dr. Dunn added.

He pointed out that the pandemic, amidst its negative effects, has presented opportunities for growth of MSMEs.

“It’s not just the negatives of it but the opportunities, and it is an opportunity for us to strengthen our MSMEs,” Dr. Dunn said.

“At the Ministry, we have taken on that mantra to strengthen our MSMEs in Jamaica… . In our just-concluded Budget presentation from the Minister of Finance [and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke], the Government has dedicated a sizeable chunk of financing to MSMEs, and one aspect of that chunk is on the digital divide, because we want to ensure that we bridge this digital divide to give MSMEs, in particular, a fighting chance,” he noted.

The webinar also featured the launch of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) Intellectual Property Week, being observed from Friday, April 23 to Sunday, May 2.

For 2021, Intellectual Property Week is being held under the theme ‘IP and MSMEs: Taking your ideas to market’.

“MSMEs are so important because there are about 424,000 MSMEs in Jamaica contributing about 3.7 per cent to our GDP,” Dr. Dunn said.

Intellectual Property Week is traditionally recognised during the last week of April each year, where the fundamental importance of intellectual property rights is highlighted for national growth and development.

The purpose of the webinar was to launch IP Week 2021 and the JIPO IP Essay Competition, as well as to have a discussion on the week’s theme.

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