Government Enhancing Competitiveness of Creative Industries

As part of efforts to enhance the global competitiveness of the country’s creative industries, the draft regulations to the Geographical Indications Bill are to be completed over the next 12 months in partnership with the Swiss Intellectual Property Institute.
This, according to Minister of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, the Hon. Olivia Grange, during her address at the International Conference on Intellectual Property and the Creative Industries hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland, recently.
“This is a matter of great concern for us, and we do intend to vigorously address this situation in the World Trade Organisation, the WTO (World Trade Organisation),” she said.
The Minister emphasized that Jamaica has a competitive advantage in respect of certain non-traditional agricultural produce, such as condiments, jerk seasoning, and spices as well as the Blue Mountain and Wallenford brands of coffee, and Jamaican rums. “These products however are being rampantly passed off as Jamaican goods by foreign companies, with false labeling and points of origin,” she told the Conference. A Geographical Indication is a sign used in connection with goods in order to indicate their geographical origin.
In addition, the Information Minister informed that the Jamaican Patents and Designs Act are currently being overhauled as the government seeks to encourage local researchers, innovators and inventors to register their works.
Meanwhile, she said trade, investment and culture/heritage preservation agencies are also working with the indigenous communities of the Maroon Councils, and the Rastafarian Councils to strengthen their capacities to develop intellectual property tools and arrangements to stem the bastardization of their cultures and proprietary interests.
Miss Grange highlighted the fact that UNESCO, at the 34th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), declared the Jamaican Maroon Culture and Traditions as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. “This is indeed a great acknowledgement that further validates the strength of Jamaican culture in the history and development of the world,” she said.

JIS Social