JIS News

Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell has said the government would be focusing on protecting brand Jamaica from international piracy, in collaboration with the private sector and the Jamaican Diaspora.
“We intend to focus a lot more on our public education campaign locally and we intend to focus on the protection of our brand in collaboration with the private sector,” Minister Paulwell said.
He was speaking at the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) National Export Week Seminar at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston today (June 21).
“We’re going to be policing the global marketplace to ensure that the Jamaican name is not misused,” the Minister stressed.
Mr. Paulwell was responding to the current situation in the global marketplace, in which products are being manufactured and labelled in other countries and then sold as genuine Jamaican made commodities. Citing the heavy cost to build and protect brands, the Minister informed of efforts being made to get the support of the Diaspora, as well as work being carried out with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to develop measures to protect brand Jamaica.
He noted that the matter of intellectual property rights was a global issue, and pointed to the signing of Treaties by the country, such as the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, which functioned under the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol and is administered by the international bureau of WIPO.
The system offers a trademark owner the possibility to have his trademark protected in several countries. This is available to all signatories of the system.Mr. Paulwell spoke of the global benefits of these international agreements. “We’re signatories to all these major agreements, such as the Paris Convention and the Madrid system, and what we are able to achieve is global protection,” he said.
Additionally, he informed that steps were also being made locally to protect brand Jamaica through the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) and the revision of laws, such as the Copyright and Intellectual Property Act. Also, a new Patent and Design Law is to be enacted during the 2005/06 fiscal year and a public education programme is to be pursued on intellectual property rights.
He commended private sector organizations, such as the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the JEA for the roles they have played in the thrust to protect brand Jamaica.
In his remarks, Dr. Andre Gordon, President of the JEA encouraged Jamaican brands to participate in the efforts to protect brand Jamaica. “A joint approach to this is going to be better for us all rather than each going it alone. Everyone selling anything truly Jamaican benefits from this programme,” he noted.
He cited efforts, which could be taken to protect and build brand Jamaica, including benchmarking a study on comparable efforts in other countries; carrying out a nationwide survey of brand components; carrying out an international market research to develop brand positioning; internal mobilization and fund-raising campaign; and developing a step by step 18-month global launch plan.
The period of June 19 to June 25 is being observed as National Export Week.